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Who Do You Think You Are? (UK TV series)

Who Do You Think You Are? is a British genealogy documentary series that has aired on the BBC since 2004. In each episode, a celebrity traces their family tree. It is made by the production company Wall to Wall. The show has regularly attracted an audience of more than 6 million viewers.[1] More than ten international adaptations of the show have been produced.

Who Do You Think You Are?
A green tree on a hill in a green field with the text 'Who Do You Think You Are?' above styled as a family tree
Genre Documentary
Narrated by
Theme music composer Mark Sayer-Wade
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 14
No. of episodes 128 and 2 specials
(as of 7 September 2017 or
Series 14, Episode 9)

11 July 2007:
Adoption Special

6 August 2014:
10 Years, 100 Shows Special
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Wall to Wall
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Productions UK
Original network
Original release 12 October 2004 (2004-10-12) – present
External links
For the U.S. series of the same name, see Who Do You Think You Are? (U.S. TV series).



Series one and two were broadcast on BBC Two, and the first was the channel's highest-rating programme of 2004. This led to episodes being shown on BBC One from the third series onwards. The current narrator, as of Series 14 in 2017, is Phil Davis. Mark Strong took over from David Morrissey after the first series, which was nominated for "Best Factual Series or Strand" in the 2005 BAFTAs; Cherie Lunghi was the narrator between Series 10 and 13.

In the first series, the last ten minutes of each episode featured presenter Adrian Chiles and genealogical researcher Nick Barratt giving tips on tracing a family tree. In 2007, a special episode was broadcast in conjunction with the BBC's "Family Wanted" campaign featuring Nicky Campbell, who was adopted a few days after he was born.[2]

The theme tune was composed by Mark Sayer-Wade, who also provided the background music for earlier episodes.[3] The music for later episodes is provided by Julian Hamlin and Edmund Jolliffe.

Series 1 (2004)Edit

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1 Bill Oddie 12 October 2004 (2004-10-12) 5.79
Oddie, brought up by his father and paternal grandmother, goes back to the Birmingham area to learn more about his mother's life and her struggles with manic depression and her mother-in-law. Then he learns more about his grandmother's life, her husband and family in Rochdale, Lancashire. He ends his journey learning more about his Oddie ancestors in Grindleton, Lancashire.
2 Amanda Redman 19 October 2004 (2004-10-19) 4.63
3 Sue Johnston 26 October 2004 (2004-10-26) 4.25
4 Jeremy Clarkson 2 November 2004 (2004-11-02) 4.95
5 Ian Hislop 9 November 2004 (2004-11-09) 4.96
Hislop, who was 12 when his father died, never met his grandfathers. Hislop traces his family history by travelling to his late mother's native Jersey, where for five years of her childhood, the island was occupied by Nazi Germany. He travels to Clary, France, where his paternal grandfather fought with the 9th Highland Light Infantry against the Hindenburg Line. He then goes to South Africa, where his maternal grandfather fought with the Royal Lancaster Regiment in the Battle of Spion Kop during the Boer War. While in South Africa, he discovered his father's maternal great great grandfather had gone to South Africa in 1795 with the 72nd Regiment, Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders in an expedition to capture Cape Town from the Dutch.
6 Moira Stuart 16 November 2004 (2004-11-16) 5.35
7 David Baddiel 23 November 2004 (2004-11-23) 4.60
8 Lesley Garrett 30 November 2004 (2004-11-30) 4.41
9 Meera Syal 7 December 2004 (2004-12-07) 3.97
10 Vic Reeves 14 December 2004 (2004-12-14) 4.46

Series 2 (2006)Edit

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1 Jeremy Paxman 11 January 2006 (2006-01-11) 5.48
2 Sheila Hancock 18 January 2006 (2006-01-18) 5.43
3 Stephen Fry 25 January 2006 (2006-01-25) 5.86
4 Julian Clary 1 February 2006 (2006-02-01) 5.94
5 Jane Horrocks 8 February 2006 (2006-02-08) 5.64
6 Gurinder Chadha 15 February 2006 (2006-02-15) 3.96

Series 3 (2006)Edit

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1 Barbara Windsor 6 September 2006 (2006-09-06) 6.40
2 Robert Lindsay 13 September 2006 (2006-09-13) 5.95
3 Colin Jackson 20 September 2006 (2006-09-20) 5.19
4 David Tennant 27 September 2006 (2006-09-27) 5.75
Tennant traces his paternal roots to the Isle of Mull, and is surprised to find his family came not from the lowlands but the Scottish Highlands. He discovers his maternal grandfather was a star player for Derry City F.C. in the 1930s, and expresses concern when he finds that other relatives were members of the Orange Order. He is disturbed to learn that his great-grandfather played a key role in suppressing Catholics in Derry, Northern Ireland, and that Catholic cousins came under fire on Bloody Sunday.
5 David Dickinson 4 October 2006 (2006-10-04) 5.80
6 Nigella Lawson 11 October 2006 (2006-10-11) 6.15
She traced her ancestors to Ashkenazi Jews who originate from eastern Europe and Germany, leaving Lawson surprised not to have Iberian-Sephardi ancestry in the family as she had believed.[5] She also uncovered that her maternal great-great-great grandfather, Coenraad Sammes (later Coleman Joseph), had fled to England from Amsterdam in 1830 to escape a prison sentence following a conviction for theft.
7 Jeremy Irons 18 October 2006 (2006-10-18) 5.82
8 Julia Sawalha 25 October 2006 (2006-10-25) 5.54

Adoption special (2007)Edit

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1 Nicky Campbell 11 July 2007 (2007-07-11) 4.32
Campbell traces his adoptive family's roots in Scotland and Australia.

Series 4 (2007)Edit

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1 Natasha Kaplinsky 6 September 2007 (2007-09-06) 6.78
Kaplinsky follows her paternal line to Slonim in Belarus and is shown official documentation relating to her cousin's family. This includes the death of family members during the "liquidation" – massacre – of the Slonim Jewish ghetto by the Nazis and another's escape to the partisans and eventual immigration to Australia. Her maternal line included an apothecary to King George III.
2 John Hurt 13 September 2007 (2007-09-13) 5.80
3 Griff Rhys Jones 20 September 2007 (2007-09-20) 5.75
4 Carol Vorderman 27 September 2007 (2007-09-27) 6.53
Vorderman discovers that her father was an active member of the Dutch resistance during the Nazi occupation. He died while the programme was being filmed. Her great-grandfather Adolphe Vorderman played a key role in the discovery of vitamins.
5 Alistair McGowan 4 October 2007 (2007-10-04) 6.17
6 Graham Norton 11 October 2007 (2007-10-11) 6.88
It was discovered that Norton's Walker ancestors were originally planters from Wentworth, South Yorkshire, who were sent over from England in the 17th century to take over Irish land. Some members of his family fought for the British monarchy during the Irish Rebellion of 1798 and took part in the Carnew massacre. Another member of his family was later killed in battle by the United Irishmen.
7 Matthew Pinsent 18 November 2007 (2007-11-18) 6.57

Series 5 (2008)Edit

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1 Patsy Kensit 13 August 2008 (2008-08-13) 7.10
2 Boris Johnson 20 August 2008 (2008-08-20) 7.04
3 Jerry Springer 27 August 2008 (2008-08-27) 6.71
Springer, who was born in England but emigrated to the United States at a young age, travels to the UK to find out how his parents were allowed in as refugees from Nazi Germany in August 1939. He discovered that someone in England paid £50 as a guarantor to sponsor his parents, but the rest of the family was left behind. He travels to his great-grandfather's hometown of Neustettin (now Szczecinek, Poland), where his great grandfather, Abraham Springer, successfully appealed for outside help after anti-Semitic politician Ernst Henrici stirred up violence in 1881. Springer then travels to Łódź, where his maternal grandmother, Marie Kallmann, was deported in 1941. She was sent to the Chełmno extermination camp in May 1942. Springer's paternal grandmother, Selma Springer, died in Theresienstadt concentration camp.
4 Esther Rantzen 3 September 2008 (2008-09-03) 6.44
5 Ainsley Harriott 10 September 2008 (2008-09-10) 6.70
6 David Suchet 17 September 2008 (2008-09-17) 6.79
Suchet, who has a love of water, discovers that his maternal great-great-great-grandfather was captain of a brig which foundered off the east coast of England. His paternal ancestors were Russian Jews, and he traces their flight from Russia to Turkey, Prussia, South Africa, and then the United Kingdom. He learns about his grandfather and great-grandfather, both of whom were noted photographers.
7 Jodie Kidd 24 September 2008 (2008-09-24) 5.87
8 Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen 29 September 2008 (2008-09-29) 4.72

Series 6 (2009)Edit

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1 Rory Bremner 2 February 2009 (2009-02-02) 6.44
2 Fiona Bruce 9 February 2009 (2009-02-09) 5.86
3 Rick Stein 16 February 2009 (2009-02-16) 5.64
4 Zoë Wanamaker 23 February 2009 (2009-02-23) 5.82
5 Kevin Whately 2 March 2009 (2009-03-02) 5.99
6 Davina McCall 15 July 2009 (2009-07-15) 6.92
7 Chris Moyles 22 July 2009 (2009-07-22) 5.23
8 Kate Humble 29 July 2009 (2009-07-29) 5.19
9 David Mitchell 5 August 2009 (2009-08-05) 4.55
10 Kim Cattrall 12 August 2009 (2009-08-12) 6.27
Cattrall researches her maternal grandfather, George Baugh's mysterious disappearance in 1938. She discovers that he became a bigamist in 1939 and had four more children. The episode reveals that Baugh's new family emigrated to Australia in 1961, and had lived there until Baugh's death in 1974.
11 Martin Freeman 19 August 2009 (2009-08-19) 6.48
Freeman researches his paternal grandfather, whom he learns died while serving as a medic during the Battle of Dunkirk in World War II. He discovers that his great-grandfather was blind, married three times, and meets a cousin he never knew he had. He also discovers how syphilis (a common disease at the time) ravaged his family in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Series 7 (2010)Edit

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1 Bruce Forsyth[6] 19 July 2010 (2010-07-19) 7.22
2 Rupert Everett 26 July 2010 (2010-07-26) 5.97
3 Dervla Kirwan 2 August 2010 (2010-08-02) 5.58
Growing up, Kirwan knew she was related to Irish national hero Michael Collins but did not know how. She discovers he was her great-great uncle: his sister, Margaret Collins O'Driscoll, was the mother of Kirwan's maternal grandfather. Kirwans seeks to find how her grandfather, Finian O'Driscoll, was involved in the IRA. She travels to Clonakilty, County Cork, birthplace of Michael Collins. On her father's side, she finds out her great grandfather, Henry Kahn, was a Polish Jew from the Russian Empire who broke with his community to marry an Irish Catholic girl in the late 19th century. Kirwan was surprised to discover they were married in the Protestant Church of Ireland, after the Catholic church refused to marry them.
4 Monty Don 9 August 2010 (2010-08-09) 5.95
5 Rupert Penry-Jones 16 August 2010 (2010-08-16) 5.68
Penry-Jones travels to India and confirms the family rumour that they have Indian ancestry. His great-great-great grandfather Thomas Johnstone was a sergeant major in the Royal Madras Fusiliers, and was part of the British attempts to quell the Indian Rebellion of 1857. He discovers Johnstone's wife, Louisa Collum, was of Anglo-Indian heritage.
6 Alexander Armstrong 23 August 2010 (2010-08-23) 6.46
Armstrong traces his mother's side of the family, who are descended from Irish landed gentry. The McCauslands were originally seated in Drenagh, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland and trace their ancestry through the Rouse-Boughton family, to Edward Somerset, 2nd Marquess of Worcester, a descendant of William the Conqueror via Edward III and the Beauforts, Dukes of Somerset.
7 Jason Donovan 30 August 2010 (2010-08-30) 5.55
8 Hugh Quarshie 6 September 2010 (2010-09-06) 5.42
9 Alan Cumming 13 September 2010 (2010-09-13) 5.15
Cumming traces the life of his maternal grandfather, whom the family was told died while cleaning his pistol while serving as a British police officer in Malaya. He learns about his grandfather's terrifying experiences as a war hero during the Battle of Dunkirk in World War II, his battle wounds received while helping stave off the Empire of Japan's invasion of India during the Burma Campaign, and his psychological problems which led to his death while playing Russian roulette in Malaya.

Series 8 (2011)Edit

# Celebrity[7][8] Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1 June Brown 10 August 2011 (2011-08-10) 6.62
2 J.K. Rowling 17 August 2011 (2011-08-17) 7.00
Rowling researches her mother's paternal great-grandfather, Louis Volant, a French head waiter who previously worked at Savoy Hotel in the 1920s. Volant had won the Croix de Guerre for his bravery during the First World War. She also learns about Volant's mother, Salomée Schuch, an unmarried maid working in Paris at the time of his birth. At age 17, she had fled her hometown of Brumath in Alsace – which became part of the German Empire during the Franco-Prussian War – to become a naturalised French citizen when she eventually married Louis' father.
3 Sebastian Coe 24 August 2011 (2011-08-24) 5.45
4 Larry Lamb 31 August 2011 (2011-08-31) 5.45
5 Emilia Fox 7 September 2011 (2011-09-07) 6.06
Fox researches her family history hoping to discover where the acting bug in her family originated from. Fox's father believes that Fox's paternal grandfather, Robin Fox, a theatrical agent, likely would have wanted to be an actor. Fox learns that Robin's mother was Hilda Hanbury, an actress who appeared on the London stage in the late 1890s. Hanbury traveled to America with theater manager Herbert Beerbohm Tree, though did not find great success and was reduced to small roles. Fox also learns that Sampson Fox, father of Hanbury's husband Arthur ("Willie") was a millionaire who rose to prominence from a child laborer in a textile mill to the owner of the Leeds Forge Company. With his large fortune, Sampson Fox was the sole donor for the Royal College of Music in London. However, Sampson Fox was also involved in a scandal regarding his promotion of watergas as an energy source and the financial success of its investors.
6 Alan Carr 14 September 2011 (2011-09-14) 5.49
7 Robin Gibb 21 September 2011 (2011-09-21) 4.37
8 Richard Madeley[9] 28 September 2011 (2011-09-28) 5.05
9 Len Goodman 5 October 2011 (2011-10-05) 5.03
10 Tracey Emin 12 October 2011 (2011-10-12) Unknown (under 4.21)

Series 9 (2012)Edit

# Celebrity[10] Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1 Samantha Womack 15 August 2012 (2012-08-15) 5.30
2 Gregg Wallace 22 August 2012 (2012-08-22) 5.46
3 Patrick Stewart 29 August 2012 (2012-08-29) 4.58
4 Annie Lennox 5 September 2012 (2012-09-05) 4.86
5 Hugh Dennis 12 September 2012 (2012-09-12) 4.87
6 Alex Kingston 19 September 2012 (2012-09-19) 4.97
7 William Roache 26 September 2012 (2012-09-26) 4.30
8 Celia Imrie 10 October 2012 (2012-10-10) 4.89
9 John Barnes 17 October 2012 (2012-10-17) Unknown (under 4.10)
10 John Bishop 6 December 2012 (2012-12-06) 5.53

Series 10 (2013)Edit

# Celebrity[11] Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1 Una Stubbs 24 July 2013 (2013-07-24) 5.24
2 Nigel Havers 31 July 2013 (2013-07-31) 5.39
3 Minnie Driver 7 August 2013 (2013-08-07) 4.95
4 Lesley Sharp 14 August 2013 (2013-08-14) 4.52
5 Gary Lineker 21 August 2013 (2013-08-21) 5.37
6 Nick Hewer 28 August 2013 (2013-08-28) 4.52
7 Nitin Ganatra 4 September 2013 (2013-09-04) 4.31
8 Sarah Millican 11 September 2013 (2013-09-11) 4.57
9 Marianne Faithfull 18 September 2013 (2013-09-18) 3.78
10 John Simpson 25 September 2013 (2013-09-25) 3.99

Series 11 (2014)Edit

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
Who Do They Think They Are?: 10 Years, 100 Shows[12] 6 August 2014 (2014-08-06) Unknown (under 3.34)
1 Julie Walters[13] 7 August 2014 (2014-08-07) 5.23
Walters traces her Irish great-grandfather, Anthony Clarke.
2 Brian Blessed 14 August 2014 (2014-08-14) 5.31
Blessed traces his great-great-great-grandfather, Barnabus Blessed, a bookbinder, and discovers that after moving from London to Portsmouth, his four children were left orphans. Blessed's great-great-grandfather, Jabez Blessed, became a "real life Oliver Twist".[14]
3 Tamzin Outhwaite 21 August 2014 (2014-08-21) 4.94
4 Brendan O'Carroll 28 August 2014 (2014-08-28) 6.06
5 Sheridan Smith 4 September 2014 (2014-09-04) 4.74
6 Mary Berry 11 September 2014 (2014-09-11) 4.75
7 Martin Shaw 18 September 2014 (2014-09-18) 5.39
8 Reggie Yates 25 September 2014 (2014-09-25) 4.18
9 Billy Connolly 2 October 2014 (2014-10-02) 5.74
10 Twiggy 9 October 2014 (2014-10-09) 5.33

Series 12 (2015)Edit

On 23 June 2015, the BBC confirmed the lineup for Series 12, which began on 13 August 2015.[15][16]

# Celebrity Original air date[17] Viewers (millions)[4]
1 Paul Hollywood 13 August 2015 (2015-08-13) 5.08
2 Jane Seymour 20 August 2015 (2015-08-20) 5.14
Seymour traces the lives of two of her Polish Jewish great aunts during World War II.
3 Derek Jacobi 27 August 2015 (2015-08-27) 4.68
Jacobi, a descendant of Huguenots who fled persecution by Catholics, travels to France, where he discovers the horrors his Protestant ancestors faced during persecution. His sixth great-grandfather Joseph de la Plaigne, a prominent financier of Louis XIV, lived as a covert Protestant following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. He was uncovered and imprisoned by the king in the Château de Loches in 1701. He apparently bribed his way out of prison the next year and fled to London. In 1708, two years before his death, the 70-year-old de la Plaigne married fellow Huguenot Salomé de la Bastide, sister of Colonel Armand de la Bastide, and 45 years his junior. In 1709 they had a son, Guillaume, who was baptised with William Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Devonshire as his godfather. Guillaume anglicised his name to William Laplain and was chaplain to the Dukes of Devonshire.
4 Jerry Hall 3 September 2015 (2015-09-03) 4.38
5 Gareth Malone 10 September 2015 (2015-09-10) 4.56
6 Anne Reid 17 September 2015 (2015-09-17) 4.70
7 Frank Gardner 24 September 2015 (2015-09-24) 4.41
8 Anita Rani 1 October 2015 (2015-10-01) 4.38
9 Mark Gatiss 8 October 2015 (2015-10-08) Unknown (under 3.80)
10 Frances de la Tour 22 October 2015 (2015-10-22) 3.83
Actress Frances de la Tour discovers aristocratic lineage. Her great-great-great-great grandmother Maria Elizabeth Adderley, stepdaughter of Robert Hobart, 4th Earl of Buckinghamshire, married captain Alan Gardner in 1796. They divorced in 1805 after he discovered her affair with Henry Jadis, nephew of the Earl of Strathmore. Lady Gardner had an illegitimate child with Jadis, Henry Fenton Gardner (born in 1802), who was declared illegitimate by the House of Lords in 1825 following the Gardner Peerage Case, in which Henry unsuccessfully attempted to prove he was the rightful heir to the Gardner peerage. De la Tour visits Doddington Hall and Seaton Delaval Hall to find out more about Jadis' mother, the Hon. Sophia Ann (née Delaval), daughter of John Delaval, 1st Baron Delaval. De la Tour discovers Sophia's sad story of becoming pregnant before marriage with Henry, and rushing to marry a man beneath her status, John Jadis. After suffering abuse from a drunken Jadis, Sophia divorced him but became ostracised socially. She developed an addiction to laudanum and died at 38.

Series 13 (2016–17)Edit

On 13 July, the line-up for the 13th series was confirmed.[18] The series started on 24 November 2016.

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1 Danny Dyer 24 November 2016 (2016-11-24) 5.45
Dyer discovers that his 3×great grandmother had a criminal record for concealing the birth of her baby, who died, that his 15× great grandfather was Thomas Cromwell, his 14× great grandmother was Elizabeth Seymour, the sister of Jane Seymour, who was Henry VIII's third wife and Queen, and that his 22× great grandfather was Edward III.
2 Amanda Holden 1 December 2016 (2016-12-01) 4.71
Holden investigates a family rumour that she is of French heritage on her mother's side. She discovers that her 5× great-grandfather Collin Thomas served a year's imprisonment after breaking his apprenticeship as a cordwainer by enlisting in the Royal Navy aged 15. Following his sentence, he enlisted in the British Army's 51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment of Foot in 1807 and fought in the Peninsular War. In 1814, while with his regiment in Bordeaux in South Western France, he met a local woman, Radegonde Charbonnel. He deserted from the army shortly before he was due to muster out, married Radegonde in 1816 and began a family, moving his wife and eldest children back to his home in Cornwall several years afterwards. She also discovers that her paternal grandfather, Frank Holden, a psychiatric nurse, survived the June 1940 bombing of the RMS Lancastria, which sank with the loss of thousands of lives, outside the port of Saint-Nazaire.
3 Liz Bonnin 8 December 2016 (2016-12-08) 3.94
Bonnin travels to Trinidad to discover her maternal family's Indian heritage, discovering that her 2× great-grandfather, Timothy Sirju, travelled to Trinidad from India with his family in 1872, where he worked as an indentured servant. She then travels to Martinique to trace her paternal family's French heritage and discovers that her 3× great-grandfather, François Alexandre Gros Désormeaux, was a plantation and slave owner who married one of his freed slaves, Marie Joseph, in 1835, and was actually born a slave. He and his mother, Pauline Zoé, were freed by his father, also François Alexandre Gros Désormeaux, and Pauline Zoé was a rare example of a freed female slave inheriting a plantation and becoming a slave owner.
4 Cheryl 15 December 2016 (2016-12-15) 4.81
Cheryl researches her maternal family. Research shows that her paternal line is from Tyneside and that there were a number of coal miners amongst Cheryl's forebears. When tracing further back, in one of the branches of her paternal line, researchers find that her ancestry includes several mariners. The investigation into Cheryl's maternal line shows that her grandmother, Olga Ridley, was one of twin girls born to Edith Annie Burton, the housekeeper for a widower named Joseph Ridley who already had a number of children from his marriage. Joseph Ridley had fought in World War I in the Durham Light Infantry as a pioneer in France and, from an examination of the census, before the war he had been a grocery warehouseman.
5 Ricky Tomlinson 22 December 2016 (2016-12-22) 4.28
6 Ian McKellen 25 January 2017 (2017-01-25) 4.21
McKellen discovers that his great uncle, Frank Lowes, was an actor, and his great-great-grandfather, Robert Lowes, campaigned for a half-holiday for Manchester's workers on Saturdays, an event that led to the evolution of the modern weekend.
7 Greg Davies 1 February 2017 (2017-02-01) 4.63
8 Warwick Davis 15 February 2017 (2017-02-15) 5.24
9 Sunetra Sarker 22 February 2017 (2017-02-22) 3.97
10 Sophie Raworth 8 March 2017 (2017-03-08) 4.45

Series 14 (2017)Edit

On 23 June 2017, the BBC announced the line-up for the show's 14th series, which again would comprise of 10 episodes.

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1 Charles Dance 6 July 2017 (2017-07-06) 4.32
2 Craig Revel Horwood 13 July 2017 (2017-07-13) 4.43
3 Clare Balding 20 July 2017 (2017-07-20) 4.83
4 Adil Ray 27 July 2017 (2017-07-27) 3.82
5 Emma Willis 3 August 2017 (2017-08-03) 4.25
6 Lulu 17 August 2017 (2017-08-17) 4.67
7 Fearne Cotton 24 August 2017 (2017-08-24) 4.08
8 Noel Clarke 31 August 2017 (2017-08-31) 3.48
9 Lisa Hammond 7 September 2017 (2017-09-07) 3.71
10 Ruby Wax 4 October 2017 (2017-10-04) 4.47

Series 15 (2018)Edit

On 10 May, the celebrities taking part in Series 15, which will air during the summer of 2018, were revealed as Olivia Colman, Boy George, Michelle Keegan, Robert Rinder, Marvin Humes, Shirley Ballas, Lee Mack and Jonnie Peacock.[19]

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1 Michelle Keegan 6 June 2018 (2018-06-06)[20] TBA

Awards and nominationsEdit

The show was nominated for the 2010 BAFTA Television Award for Best Factual Series.[21]

Media releasesEdit

Series 1 – 11 of Who Do You Think You Are? are available on DVD in the UK (Region 2).

In October 2007, BBC Magazines began issuing Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, a monthly publication that includes material from the TV series.

The series 1–4 box set of Who Do You Think You Are? is available, distributed by Acorn Media UK.[22]

Complete Series Release dates DVD Extras
Bonus Features
Of Discs
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Complete
First Series
TBA 5 March 2007 17 September 2008 Unseen Footage, First Steps to Researching Your Family 3
The Complete
Second Series
TBA 4 September 2007 12 November 2008 Unseen Footage 2
The Complete
Third Series
TBA 12 January 2009 18 March 2009 None 3
The Complete
Fourth Series
TBA 3 August 2009 20 May 2009 Special episode in conjunction with the BBC's "Family Wanted" campaign featuring Nicky Campbell, who was adopted a few days after he was born. 3
The Complete
Fifth Series
TBA 1 February 2010 TBA Three behind-the-scenes features 3
The Complete
Sixth Series
TBA 6 September 2010 TBA None 4
The Complete
Seventh Series
TBA 7 March 2011 TBA None 3
The Complete
Eighth Series
TBA 20 August 2012[23] TBA None 3
The Complete
Ninth Series
TBA 5 August 2013[24] TBA None 3
The Complete
Tenth Series
TBA 22 September 2014[25] TBA None 3
The Complete
Eleventh Series
TBA 10 November 2014[26] TBA Who Do They Think They Are?: 10 Years, 100 Shows 3

Other countriesEdit

The format of the series has proved popular around the world and the BBC has licensed it to many foreign television companies, who have produced their own individual versions:

TVP1 has aired a Polish version, called Sekrety rodzinne, which was broadcast from November 2006 to March 2007.

In September 2007, a first series of Canadian version, consisting of 13 episodes, aired on CBC Television.

An Australian version aired on SBS in January 2008, after six episodes of the BBC version had been shown; the BBC programmes were those featuring Stephen Fry, Bill Oddie, Julia Sawalha, Jeremy Clarkson, Gurinder Chadha, and Nigella Lawson.

In 2008, ARD's Das Erste aired the German version, called Das Geheimnis meiner Familie ("The secret of my family"). They aired four episodes featuring Marie-Luise Marjan, Armin Rohde, Christine Neubauer and Peter Maffay.

Ireland's national broadcaster RTÉ has aired two series of Irish version of Who Do You Think You Are? in autumn 2008 and autumn 2009. The Irish version has included internationally recognised names such as Ardal O'Hanlon, Dana, Rosanna Davison, and Dermot Gavin.[27][28] The British version of the show already airs on TG4 in Ireland.

Sveriges Television, the Swedish public service broadcaster, aired a Swedish version called Vem tror du att du är? in 2009. Later that year, in May and June, they also aired the BBC episodes featuring Stephen Fry, Jeremy Irons, Nigella Lawson, John Hurt, and Jane Horrocks.

Also on 31 May 2009, South African station SABC2 premiered its version, split into two parts, featuring local personalities.[29]

An American adaptation of the show premiered on 5 March 2010 on NBC. In Britain, this began airing on BBC One on Sunday 13 June 2010.

In 2010, the Dutch version called Verborgen Verleden (nl) ("Hidden Past") of the show started. Thus far, ten series have been produced between 2010 and 2018. From 2005 to 2008, four series of the show Verre Verwanten ("Distant Relatives") were shown on Dutch television.

In September 2010, the Danish TV station Danmarks Radio aired the first episode of the Danish version, called Ved du hvem du er?.

On 1 September 2010, France 2 aired two episodes of the French version, Retour aux Sources, featuring Vincent Pérez and Clémentine Célarié [30]

In January 2011, the Norwegian TV station NRK started to air the Norwegian version, called Hvem tror du at du er?

Starting on 9 January 2012, Finland's national public-broadcasting company, YLE, aired 15 episodes of the Finnish version, called Kuka oikein olet?, in which local public figures searched for their origins.[31]

A furthering of the concept was developed for American public broadcast TV, called Finding Your Roots, with Henry Louis Gates. This series adds DNA profiling to the format; including Y-chromosome DNA, mitochondrial DNA and autosomal DNA analyses to infer both ancient and recent genetic relationships. The series started airing on 25 March 2012.[citation needed]

In January 2013, Czech broadcaster ČT started broadcasting their version of this show, called Tajemství rodu ("The secret of the lineage").[32]

Starting 15 January 2013, RTP1 broadcast a Portuguese version called Quem É que Tu Pensas Que És? ("Who Do You Think You Are?") at the 10:30 pm timeslot. The first season featured such names as the comedian Herman José, the actresses Maria do Céu Guerra and Maria João Abreu, the musician Zé Pedro from the Xutos & Pontapés rock band and the fadista Camané.[citation needed]

International versionsEdit

Country Local Name Network Air Dates
  Australia Who Do You Think You Are? SBS One January 2008 – present
Who Do You Think You Are? CBC Television 11 October 2007 – 31 January 2008
Qui êtes-vous? (Who Are You?) ICI Radio-Canada Télé 8 November 2013
  Czech Republic Tajemství rodu (The Secret of the Family) ČT1 9 January 2013
  Denmark Ved du hvem du er? (Do You Know Who You Are?) DR1 15 September 2010 – 17 March 2012
  Finland Kuka oikein olet? (Who Are You?) Yle TV1 9 January 2012
  France Retour aux Sources (Back to Basics) France 2 1 September 2010
  Germany Das Geheimnis meiner Familie (The Secret of My Family) Das Erste 31 March 2008 –
  Ireland Who Do You Think You Are RTÉ One 15 September 2008 – 19 October 2009
  Israel מי אתה חושב שאתה? (Mi Ata Hoshev She'ata) Channel 1 4 February 2010
  Netherlands Verborgen verleden (nl) (Hidden Past) Nederland 2 29 September 2010 – present
  Norway Hvem tror du at du er? NRK1 January 2011 – present
  Poland Sekrety rodzinne (Family Secrets) TVP1 November 2006 – March 2007
  Portugal Quem É que Tu Pensas Que És? RTP1 15 January 2013
  Russia Моя родословная (My Family Tree) Channel One Russia 1 July 2009 – 12 February 2011
  South Africa Who Do You Think You Are? SABC2 31 May 2009
  Sweden Vem tror du att du är? SVT1 Spring 2009
  United States Who Do You Think You Are? NBC (2010–12)
TLC (2013–present)
5 March 2010 – present

Similar programmesEdit

BBC Wales has a similar series called Coming Home, which is made by Yellow Duck Productions and features celebrities with a Welsh background.[33][34] In 2007, Wall to Wall developed You Don't Know You're Born for ITV1. The series saw various celebrities taking on their ancestors' jobs. UKTV broadcast My Famous Family in 2007.

A short parody sketch of the show featured in the first series of The Armstrong and Miller Show in which Alexander Armstrong plays a fictionalised version of himself, discovering that his paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother were a child molester and a brothel-owner, respectively.[35]


  1. ^ "6.4 million uncover Davina's family history". Digital Spy. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are? with Nicky Campbell". Who Do You Think You Are. 11 July 2007. BBC. BBC Two. 
  3. ^ "SoundVault - Mark Sayer-Wade - Case Study". Retrieved 27 January 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Nigella Lawson. BBC Who Do You Think You Are?, 26 September 2006; retrieved 5 October 2008.
  6. ^ "Bruce Forsyth Traces Family History". BBC News. 17 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "Featured Articles – BBC launching new series of Who Do You Think You Are?". Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  8. ^ Submitted by mattelton (12 April 2011). "This year's Who Do You Think You Are? celebrities revealed". Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  9. ^ richardm56 (1 August 2011). "Yup. Sep 28, 9pm BBC1". Twitter. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  10. ^ Elton, Matt (9 February 2012). "Who Do You Think You Are? 2012: new series celebrities revealed". Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  11. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are? 2013: new celebrities revealed". Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Who Do They Think They Are?: 10 Years, 100 Shows". BBC. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are? Julie Walters". BBC. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  14. ^ Furness, Hannah (9 August 2014). "Tearful Brian Blessed overcome as he discovers 'real-life Oliver Twist' in the family". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  15. ^ Greenwood, Carl (22 June 2015). "Who Do You Think You Are returns with Paul Hollywood, Derek Jacobi and Jerry Hall". The Mirror. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are?". BBC. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  17. ^ "BBC reveals WDYTYA? 2015 running order". Who Do You Think You Are Magazine. 5 August 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  18. ^ Methven, Nicola (13 July 2016). "Danny Dyer discovers he is related to royalty during making of BBC documentary". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 13 July 2016. 
  19. ^ Collins, Rosemary (10 May 2018). "Who Do You Think You Are? 2018 – new celebrities revealed!". Who Do You Think You Are Magazine. Retrieved 3 June 2018. 
  20. ^ "Genealogy news roundup: First date revealed for Who Do You Think You Are? 2018". WDYTYA Magazine. 24 May 2018. Retrieved 27 May 2018. 
  21. ^ "Television Awards Winners in 2010". BAFTA. 10 May 2010. Archived from the original on 23 August 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  22. ^ " is coming soon". Archived from the original on 19 January 2016. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  23. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are? Series Eight [DVD]: Alan Carr, June Brown, J. K. Rowling, Larry Lamb, Robin Gibb, Emilia Fox: Film & TV". 20 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  24. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are? Series Nine [DVD]". Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  25. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are? Series 10 [DVD]". Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  26. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are? Series 11 [DVD]". Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  27. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are%3F (Irish TV series)". RTÉ. Archived from the original on 18 August 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  28. ^ About The Show {Series 2} Archived 3 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Who Do You Think You Are? RTÉ
  29. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are? (SA)". TVSA. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  30. ^ "Retour aux sources, TV Show", Facebook.
  31. ^ "Sarja: Kuka oikein olet? Ohjelmat". YLE. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  32. ^ "Tajemství rodu" [Secrets of the family] (in Czech). 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  33. ^ "Coming Home, Coming Soon". South East Wales. BBC Wales. 11 July 2007. 
  34. ^ "Coming Home Coming Soon". Mid Wales. BBC Wales. 28 January 2008. 
  35. ^ YouTube Armstrong and Miller - Who Do You Think You Are Spoof Published on 18 Nov 2007 accessed 15 July 2017


External linksEdit