Five things you might not know about Jack and Michael Whitehall

By Rosemary Collins, 30 July 2019 - 10:48am

Discover more about father-son duo Jack and Michael Whitehall, who trace their family history in Who Do You Think You Are? on 5 August

Jack and Michael Whitehall Who Do You Think You Are?
Jack and Michael Whitehall at the Ham Yard Hotel in London in 2016 (Credit: Dave J Hogan)

Known for their comedic banter, father and son Jack and Michael Whitehall co-present talkshow Backchat and Netflix series Travels with My Father.

Next week, they become the first pair of relatives to discover their family origins on Who Do You Think You Are?

Here are five things you might not know about the Whitehalls…
 

1. Theatrical roots

The Whitehall family has deep roots in the world of theatre. Michael Whitehall is a producer and theatrical agent and his wife Hilary is an actor under the stagename Hilary Gish. Jack’s godfathers were the actors Richard Griffiths and Nigel Havers.
 

2. Potter pals

Jack Whitehall went to school with Harry Potter and Twilight actor Robert Pattinson, who he jokes used to beat him for the best parts in school plays. He also auditioned for the part of Harry Potter but was turned down because he hadn’t read the book. Of course, the part went to Jack’s fellow WDYTYA? star Daniel Radcliffe.
 

3. Small screen star

However, Jack’s acting career did take off eventually – he first starred in student sitcom Fresh Meat and went on to play a teacher in Bad Education (for which he was also a writer and associate producer). He can currently be seen in Amazon Prime’s Good Omens.
 

4. Literary link

As well as appearing together on TV and on Jack’s YouTube channel, Jack and Michael have worked together on two books. Jack illustrated Michael’s 2007 memoir Shark Infested Waters: Tales of an Actors’ Agent, and in 2013 they co-wrote Him & Me: A Father and Son Remember It All Differently.
 

5. Double act

When he appeared on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs last year, Jack said that he thinks audiences enjoy his banter with Michael because it reminds them of their relationship with their own fathers: “The way they bicker and the way he puts me down, and the way I wind him up is very relatable and, whilst he says glibly he never wanted it and ‘Why am I doing this?’, he loves it and I love it.”

 

 

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