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Questions about how WDYTYA is made

Recently watched a repeat and discovered something new? Have a query about how the show is made? This is the place to have your say

Questions about how WDYTYA is made

Postby Editor » Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:46 pm

Has anybody got any questions about how the series is made that they would like answered? I'm off to see Wall to Wall next week, who make the series for the BBC, and I'm going to pose some questions that readers have asked. Have you got any?

Sarah
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RE: Questions about how WDYTYA is made

Postby lizjones » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:40 pm

Way too late for your meeting, I know...but in case you meet with them again, I would be interested to know if the team put together a package of findings for the celebrity after the programme - do they make up a book, an extra long video, or is it a box of copies of photos & documents...I would also be interested in which celebs they decided not to choose; and if there is a popular celebrity who doesn't have much in the way of family history, would it be worth making a programme featuring 2 celebrities?
Researching:
Denman - anywhere in the West Country but especially North Curry & Taunton
Fisher - Wedmore & Mark, in Somerset
Thomas - Minehead & Dunster
Willsman - everywhere!
Leighton/Layton in Gloucestershire & Herefordshire
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RE: Questions about how WDYTYA is made

Postby Editor » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:36 pm

Hi Liz,

Just to say that they do give the celebrities a box of documents, a book and a printed out family tree of all the material they have researched. The family tree that the celebrity gets is much wider and taller than the one you see in the programme, often with dozens more ancestors. They also give them all the certificates they have ordered etc. We have spoken to celebrities who have said how much they enjoy getting this bonus 'package' a the end of the series.

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Re: Questions about how WDYTYA is made

Postby Frosty » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:24 pm

I would like to know who gets to select the Celeb - do you research loads & only use the ones who look intersting. What about the ones whos families were only normal people labourers or black sheep.
Why not show that some people are left with a brick wall & how the researchers can get around a brick wall. That would help a lot of people. Why don't we get to see the US & OZ ones? We get Strictly for the US series on Sky.
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Re: Questions about how WDYTYA is made

Postby Enfield67 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:10 pm

Why is it that you have to refer to distances in km rather than miles. In Kate Humbles programme tonight there was a reference in the commentary to her grandfather walking 800km which means nothing to me. A distance in miles instanly means something. As we use miles in this country I see no reason why this should be a problem. I have noticed this is the case with many programmes broadcast on the Discovery Channel even when the american programme mentions miles, the UK commentary, dubbed after mentions km.
I know there will be those who say it is easy enough to convert between the two, but I would say that most of us can instantly visualise a distance in miles which means far more when watching a TV programme and being caught up in the moment.
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Re: Questions about how WDYTYA is made

Postby JohnS » Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:29 am

I agree with Enfield67 about miles.

This Series has been good so far, with Kate's being exceptional. I'm being nosey about Series Eight! What a shame about Michael Parkinson, but what about rumours of Konnie Huq, David Schwimmer, Yvette Fielding, Freema Agyeman and Piers Morgan? Care to confirm or quash?!

Do the researchers go into the planning of a Series trying to cover various topics (country, era, occupation, health, type/place of research needed etc) or do they just go with the flow as it were? If too many "well-known people" have good stories to recount but a few are similar to each other, how do they decide who makes it through to broadcast, who will get broadcast at a possibly later date and who simply gets dropped?

Are there are well-known parents/children that could include both generations in the filming? What about Peter & Dan Snow (cousin Jon too), Emma Forbes & Bryan/Nanette, Janet Ellis & Sophie. Even siblings researching together could be good such as David & Jonathan Dimbleby. It might be a different angle. I remember David Suchet had John on it and Julia Sawalha had Nadim, but they weren't discovering things together.

I'm sure you'll be going back to Wall to Wall again, hence a few thoughts.
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Re: Questions about how WDYTYA is made

Postby spweldon2 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:35 am

Hi, as an avid viewer of the WDYTYA series, including all the repeats that are shown, I have often wondered why you do not create a series that shows the history and lives of some of us ordinary people out there. Very often members of the public a have family history that is just as interesting as the celebrities that you show in your series. I myself have a family history that includes Music Hall acts in the 19th century such as acrobatic troupes, singers and comedians, deserting husbands, infant mortality, and a family business from the 1800's whose wealth has long since disapeared. I find that the series that you show are sometimes a real insight into what life was like years ago, and can often help point people in the right direction helping them to further their reasearch. With my own research as I believe with many peoples, I find that it is not just about finding family members but learning about how they would of lived their lives that is so difficult. How interesting it would be to see the lives of ordinary people being shown, and have the help of the WDYTYA team to help fill in some of the gaps in some of our social as well as family history.
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Re: Questions about how WDYTYA is made

Postby ksouthall » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:16 pm

spweldon2 wrote:Hi, as an avid viewer of the WDYTYA series, including all the repeats that are shown, I have often wondered why you do not create a series that shows the history and lives of some of us ordinary people out there.


If you need any ordinary people, I'd be happy to volunteer.....it's a tough job but I'd be willing to make the sacrifice if it helped other people out.....
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Re: Questions about how WDYTYA is made

Postby meekhcs » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:01 pm

ksouthall wrote:
spweldon2 wrote:Hi, as an avid viewer of the WDYTYA series, including all the repeats that are shown, I have often wondered why you do not create a series that shows the history and lives of some of us ordinary people out there.


If you need any ordinary people, I'd be happy to volunteer.....it's a tough job but I'd be willing to make the sacrifice if it helped other people out.....


I asked the same question in an email some time ago. The answer came back that although the idea had been discussed it was thought that a programme using us ordinary folk would not be as interesting or successful.
Sally
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Re: Questions about how WDYTYA is made

Postby Tilliduff » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:08 pm

meekhcs wrote:I asked the same question in an email some time ago. The answer came back that although the idea had been discussed it was thought that a programme using us ordinary folk would not be as interesting or successful.
Sally


Which is surely nonsense? Many of the celebrities are ordinary people and their families were ordinary, but they were very interesting programmes. I'm not an enthusiast of the celebrity culture and I actually did not watch the first two or three series because of the celebrity thing. I want genealogy. Of course once I did start to watch I was hooked, but certainly not because of the celebrities.
Chris

Browns of St. Erme and Grampound, Cornwall, Henwoods of Devon and Cornwall, Tilliduffs from East London, originally Aberdeenshire
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