From the office: 100 reasons to shed a tear

By Editor, 10 July 2014 - 11:01am

I've just been called a 'big softy' by our production editor, but I can't watch Who Do You Think You Are? without a box of tissues next to me!

Thursday 10 July 2014
Sarah Williams, editor
Read more blogs from the magazine team
 
 

As we’ve been preparing for the 11th series of Who Do You Think You Are?, we’ve found ourselves talking a lot about previous episodes and what they meant to us.

We ran a competition recently and asked readers to vote for their favourite episode (the EastEnders actor Nitin Ganatra just made it to first place with Kim Cattrall’s episode a close second). A previous reader favourite was Stephen Fry when we held a similar vote in 2008.

What seems to capture people’s imagination is not just a good story but how much that story means to the celebrity. What makes this a great TV series is when you see the transformative power that knowledge about your past can give you. Well, perhaps that’s not always the case, sometimes we just love a good old-fashioned detective hunt.

And, of course, there are the tears. I had an embarrassing moment fishing around for a hanky on the train to London because I was watching Natasha Kaplinsky’s episode on my laptop and suddenly I wasn’t on the 9.30 to Paddington, I was in Slonim’s ruined synagogue listening to Natasha’s cousin, Benny, sing a Hebrew prayer of mourning. For me it was one of the most heart-rending moments in the history of the series.

But we’d be here all day if I listed all the episodes when I’ve shed a tear. There was nothing particularly sad about Hugh Dennis’s episode. His grandfather Ron made it through the First World War and lived to the ripe old age of 91 but a lot of his experiences were similar to my grandfather’s. I remember welling up when it said he had won a grammar school scholarship right near the start of the episode and thinking “Come on Sarah, you can’t start crying now, you’ve got the whole First World War to get through.”

Whether they’ve made you laugh or cry, over the next 100 days we’re going to be flagging up each episode of the TV series on our Facebook page, culminating with the 100th episode which is going to be broadcast in October. If you’re not on Facebook, you can revisit them all on our website here.

For many of us, Who Do You Think You Are? was the catalyst that made us research our own family history and I think that’s a legacy worth celebrating.

Share your thoughts (and tears) in the comments below!

 

From the office: Seven reasons why you might have Scottish ancestors
previous blog Article
Alan Crosby: The legacy of the First World War
next blog Article
From the office: Seven reasons why you might have Scottish ancestors
previous blog Article
Alan Crosby: The legacy of the First World War
next blog Article
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here