Alan Crosby: New series is a mouth-watering prospect

By Steve Harnell, 23 June 2015 - 10:37am

Alan's getting excited about the new series of WDYTYA? and the type of stories that could be in store

Dr Alan Crosby is the editor of the Local Historian and a columnist for WDYTYA? MagazineThursday 25 June 2015
Alan Crosby
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Sir Derek Jacobi is among the stars that Alan is looking forward to in the new series of WDYTYA? (Credit: Getty Images)

I’ve just been looking at the list of celebrities who will feature in the new series of WDYTYA?, which we’ll be seeing in the summer. It looks a very intriguing line-up – and what a nice idea to have both Sir Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid in the same series. It could become a trend  co-stars together. 

I love the fact that Jerry Hall’s family originate from Oldham. That’s one of the enduring attractions of the programmes and of the format – international stars discover their humble origins in very unlikely places, or are descended from very dodgy characters. That never ceases to be good entertainment. And I'm particularly looking forward to discovering who the “laudanum-addicted socialites” were that I've heard about in the preview!

Of course, one of the other exciting prospects is that I’ll discover that I’m related to someone on the series. I guess most viewers secretly, or not so secretly, hope for that, and it actually happened to me a few years ago when I found out, without any prior knowledge before I saw the programme, that Monty Don and I are third cousins (we share great-great grandparents). Ever since, I’ve been dropping his name at every possible opportunity. My mother-in-law is really impressed but does ask why the gardening talent doesn’t seem to have passed down my branch of the family.

It’s amazing to think that we’re now looking forward to the 12th series and it shows no sign of losing its magic or of running out of interesting subjects. And, as a historian, as well as a family historian, I really appreciate the way that important social, political, cultural and economic history issues are highlighted – it adds depth and breadth to the already-interesting family stories. I can’t wait for Episode 1!

Alan Crosby lives in Lancashire and is editor of The Local Historian. He is an honorary research fellow at Lancashire and Liverpool universities

 

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