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June Brown (10 August)

Discuss this year's series, featuring celebrities including June Brown, JK Rowling, Sebastian Coe and Alan Carr

June Brown (10 August)

Postby Matt Elton » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:10 am

Hi there,

June Brown – EastEnders' Dot Cotton – kicks off the new series of Who Do You Think You Are? in continent-hopping style tonight at 9pm on BBC One. We'd love to know what you think, so head this way once the episode has aired and share your comments...

Looking forward to tonight!

Matt Elton
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Re: June Brown (10 August)

Postby Lorna1320 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:13 pm

oh this was fantastic! It was truly worth the year wait. I loved the personal touch from June at Rachel's graveside. Sunflower plant and the picture of Isaac Bitton. What great in-depth research - and so much interesting history. I really enjoyed learning about the Spanish Inquisition and how and why the Jews were expelled from Oron. I can't wait for the next episode. Thank you BBC and WDYTYA magazine. :D :D :D
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Re: June Brown (10 August)

Postby ksouthall » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:41 pm

I agree with Lorna. This was an excellent start to the new series. Plenty of history giving another side to Jewish ancestry.
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Re: June Brown (10 August)

Postby JTAarchive » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:44 am

Fascinating recap! Here's a stray note in the JTA Jewish News Archive about June Brown's ancestor, boxer Isaac Bitton:
Isaac Bitton fought George Maddox at Wimbledon in 1802 in a bout that was called off after seventy-four rounds.

And here is an obituary about another bare-knuckle boxer, Lord Shinwell:

Adam Soclof
JTA Archive
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Re: June Brown (10 August)

Postby lori_anne71 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:01 am

I was so excited about this episode and it was really worth the wait! :D

I myself am from East End Jewish stock and my great grandfather was a famous Jewish boxer in his day, so I felt I really had a connection with this show more than any other I've watched... a lot of the stuff that was spoken about I had learnt myself through my own research, but when it came to finding out about my great great grandparents who moved over to London from Holland, I've always hit a dead end... I'm hoping to get past that hurdle shortly and actually find out if June Brown and I have a lot more in common with our ancestry! :D
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Re: June Brown (10 August)

Postby Pastnida » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:29 am

I also found this episode very interesting BUT I was very disappointed to see June smoking in front of the camera and more than once - I thought that sort of thing just did not happen anymore.
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Re: June Brown (10 August)

Postby lesley.mazey » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:19 pm

Well, I was looking forward to the start of this series and I was not disappointed. Initially i was note sure about June Brown as a name but I think I was being influenced by her on screen persona. :oops:

What a lovely graceous lady. As we say where I grew up, "she has no side to her" (i.e. what you see is what you get).

I loved the eagerness she had to trace her roots and I do feel she would have been disappointed to have been related to royalty.

So bring on the next one!
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Re: June Brown (10 August)

Postby Carol Ann » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:36 pm

What a fantastic woman and what an amazing insight into an unknown world.
A great start what I think is going to be one of the most popular of any of the series
so far.
June Brown was so genuinely interested in her precedents and what had befallen them and the very personal scene in the cemetery towards the end of her journey was so touching it did move me to tears.
I learned so many interesting facts from just this one episode; To show her tracing her family back to the 1600s was quite fascinating to have so many centuries of prejudice against them put before you and to realize what suffering and humiliation the Jews went through because of their religion.
This program must have been an unbelievable help to people who have immigrant ancestors and eye-opener for the rest of us who’s roots are firmly set in British soil.
Carol Ann
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Re: June Brown (10 August)

Postby Brian1964 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:23 pm

What a brilliant programme that was and what a genuine person June Brown is.
You could fill the excitement that June was feeling about her ancestors, this is the way I fill about my ancestors
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Re: June Brown (10 August)

Postby phsvm » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:53 pm

I too enjoyed the programme - more for the insight into another aspect of Jewish history, rather than about June Brown's family in particular.

However, I couldn't agree more with Pastnida and her comments about cigarettes. I don't know whether she's a heavy smoker but having a cigarette clamped between her fingers much of the time certainly didn't endear me to her and for me, took the edge of what could have been an excellent programme.
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