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Hugh Dennis's episode

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Hugh Dennis's episode

Postby Jon Bauckham » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:35 pm


Episode 5 in the current series of Who Do You Think You Are? will be shown on BBC One at 9pm tomorrow - it's all going too quickly for my liking!

Uncovering the genealogical gems this time will be the comedian and impressionist, Hugh Dennis. The Outnumbered actor finds himself exploring the implications of social mobility as he delves into the First World War experiences of his grandfathers, Ronald and Godfrey. "They both came back from the war and essentially never talked about it," says Hugh. "I knew they were both fine, because if they weren't I wouldn't be here. The horror is awful, but they survived."

As always, please let us know what you thought about the episode by posting below. We'll be featuring our favourite response in the e-newsletter, which will be sent out on Thursday.

All the best,
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Re: Hugh Dennis's episode

Postby jkk » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:47 am

What happened to Alex Kingston? I had heard she was due to be episode 3; then Wikipedia suggested she'd be episode 5 -- and now she's been bumped again. Any known reason for this?
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Re: Hugh Dennis's episode

Postby margaretabram » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:56 pm

Sorry, but this episode just didn't interest me. Perhaps those really interested in WW1 would be, but I felt myself mentally switching off and have never done this before with WDYTYA. My grandfather was a rare soldier, lasting the whole of the war in France and Flanders and surviving with just his hearing gone from the gunfire, but still I can't get into this type of programme.
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Re: Hugh Dennis's episode

Postby junkers » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:54 pm

I thought the programme was good although I didn't understand why they didn't go straight to the online military records from the outset. Men who came back fom the First World War didn't talk about the horrors and one of my grandfathers did in later life also think he was back in the trenches and battle stress was not attended as today. Men who served and survived during the whole war may seem uninteresting but I would want to know when and where my ancestors served and what happened.
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Re: Hugh Dennis's episode

Postby Pantgwyn » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:50 am

This episode had a personal resonance for me because my father went to Cambridge as part of his officer cadet training during the Second World War. Like Hugh's grandfather, he came from a working-class background: in fact he had left school at 16 to get a job. However, he studied for an Inter BSc at his local university in the evenings, and so was recruited to the Royal Engineers as part of a scheme which encouraged university students to apply to be officers. (My mother tells me that Richard Burton became an officer in the Air Force through a similar scheme.) My father was incredibly lucky to be sent to St Catharine's, Cambridge, for the first six months of his training (studying Engineering), followed by another six months of training for active service. I've always wanted to know more about this, and so was very pleased to get some clues as to what it was like a generation before.

I really enjoyed the first half of the episode, therefore. Having had some bad nights thanks to my toddler, I then fell asleep :oops: , but am looking forward to catching up on what happened to his other grandfather ...
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Postby KayFarndon » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:02 am

What a disappointing episode last night's was. I have never been so bored and it did not capture my interest at all. I thought that WDYTYA? was supposed to be about tracing families back through time, this did not venture past WW1, which I feel has been done so many times before. Please revert to the original format where we can actually learn something about researching, rather than having a history lesson. Combining the two is what viewers have come to expect and enjoy.
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Re: Hugh Dennis's episode

Postby callbrian » Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:59 pm

Inclined to agree, I'm sorry to say.
This episode didn't manage to keep me riveted, I haven't got the excuse of a toddler, that made me fall asleep part way through, just age unfortunately. Hoping the rest of the series delivers.

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Re: Hugh Dennis's episode

Postby Granny Di » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:49 pm

I enjoyed the episode for selfish reasons, it confirmed that we share ancesters.I had my doubts because most of my ancesters were miners but this explained things nicely. I didn't need to go further back as we go way back already (though we never give up on getting further) but I find the recent past much more difficult to discover.
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Re: Hugh Dennis's episode

Postby ritah » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:10 pm

This was not a 'must watch again' episode for me, WW1 is obviously an important part of so many people's family histories but has been covered in great detail in other episodes.

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Re: Hugh Dennis's episode

Postby Lynn207 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:49 pm

Loved this episode as my grandfather was in 7th Battalion Cameron Highlanders which was in France at the same time as Hugh's grandfather so very interesting.
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