From the office: Tragedies at every turn for MasterChef's Gregg Wallace

By Deputy Editor, 23 August 2012 - 12:46pm

Could Gregg Wallace's episode be the saddest Who Do You Think You Are? ever, wonders deputy editor Claire Vaughan

Thursday, 23 August 2012
Claire Vaughan, deputy editor
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Gregg Wallace – what an absolute trouper. After watching his show last night, I just want to give him a big hug (and make him a chocolate pudding).

Everybody’s talking about it in the office this morning and we all agree that it’s possibly the saddest episode of Who Do You Think You Are? ever.

If you watched it you’ll know exactly what I mean (Missed it? Catch up here). Gregg, bless him, remained optimistic despite the relentless tide of appallingly bad luck visited on his forebears.

When I spoke to him about his episode a couple of weeks ago, he told me: “It made me quite sad, very down because I felt such a strong link to these people. It made me very reflective – much more than I thought it would – and affected me quite deeply – there just seemed to be death, sorrow and misfortune never far away from these Springetts.”

Something else I took away from Gregg’s episode was how wrong assumptions and family rumours can be – in this case that Henry deserted his family, that Emily was to blame for the relationship breakdown, that the photograph of Selina celebrated her as a preacher – and how documents when viewed alongside other sources can reveal the bigger picture.

The unseen footage on our website illustrates this perfectly; it explains why Henry couldn’t advance his divorce proceedings. Be warned though, it involves more tragedy…

And if, like Gregg, you’ve uncovered ancestors who were in lunatic asylums, we show you how to find out more about their lives.

What did you think of the episode? You can tell us on Facebook or Twitter or via email

Don’t miss Patrick Stewart’s family history journey next Wednesday, BBC1 at 9pm – see you there!

 

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