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Gary Lineker's episode

Share your thoughts on the most recent series of the show, which features the likes of Sarah Millican, Nick Hewer and Gary Lineker

Gary Lineker's episode

Postby Jon Bauckham » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:54 pm

It's WDYTYA? Wednesday!

This week, it's time for football player-turned-pundit Gary Lineker to research his family tree, uncovering the lives of two very different Victorian forebears.

So, grab a big bag of crisps and switch on BBC One at 9pm! Once the credits have rolled, hop on to this thread and share your thoughts by posting below...

All the best,
Jon
I've now left Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine. Please contact wdytyaeditorial@immediate.co.uk regarding any forum queries.
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Re: Gary Lineker's episode

Postby edesy1984 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:49 pm

another great episode. I have found relatives that went to prison too...fascinating stuff
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Re: Gary Lineker's episode

Postby MysticDave » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:49 pm

It's getting quite a hard critique on Digital Spy - although that was partly down to a dislike of Mr. Lineker's own exploits in recent history!

It was in trouble from the "how great my house is" point and even the prog admitted that with "Gary has decided to research a couple of ancestors in his granny's line" - ie: there isn't much material, but he is a key BBC Talent.

The series is struggling somewhat these days and I find myself thinking that my own tree is rather more interesting.
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Re: Gary Lineker's episode

Postby ColinB » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:59 am

Not the best episode in the series so far. It seemed oddly disconnected to me. Gary was presented with his ready - made tree , selected a couple of people and off he went to research them. I got no real feeling of family from this at all. He may as well have been looking at a couple of unrelated people , chosen at random. I could have done without the wisecracks and snide remarks about his brother too.

Disappointingly dull !

Colin
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Re: Gary Lineker's episode

Postby Brummie on Exmoor » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:55 am

Like most of the others posting today, I agree that this was a poor episode. The waste of time over the house, and also the Match of the Day outtake was unnecessary, and clearly only there to pad out a thin episode.

However, I do feel that the 'thin-ness' was unnecessary. There was a lot of material there to make a full episode, but I felt the subject, Gary Lineker himself, was really not properly engaged, and this made any real extrapolation from the themes thrown up impossible. This was a big opportunity missed.

The major elements - criminal relatives, poverty and the economic downturn in the 1840s, City Guilds, the whole 'Bluecoat School' idea (found in other cities too) - were fascinating, and begged proper attention, but were wasted. There were so many missed opportunities: eg: NO, it was NOT unusual for poor people to marry on 24 December, or even 25 December, because they could not take time off work to get married. Another point that could have been made: the hosiery/stocking-making trade - HUGE in the East Midlands - was suffering particularly in the 1830s and beginning of the 1840s, because fashions for men went through a sea change just before and at the beginning of the Victorian era, with the move from breeches & hose to trousers. More could have been made of the guilds too, and of the way that prisoners were often engaged in hard labour or using the treadmill. But it seemed there was little interest, so it was not touched on.

Finally, I cringed when so much was made at the beginning about poor old James PRATT and his 'funny' criminal exploits. Why wait so long into the programme before making the point that this was about James feeding himself and his family. And the view of snow-covered fields should have been used to underline the point that poached rabbits or game birds may well have been all that stood between the family and starvation. That would have been particularly the case in winter. This point should have been SHOUTED, underlined in red three times. It was the critical point - James probably had no choice, and the scandal was that the system guarded the rich man's hunting rights against the poor and hungry.

Overall, a disappointing waste of potentially good material.
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Re: Gary Lineker's episode

Postby phsvm » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:48 pm

I agree with a large number of the comments made. I will do anything to avoid football and don’t like what I know of Gary Lineker but being WDYTYA? I watched it.

If anyone heard him talking on Radio 2 the other afternoon you’ll know that it wasn’t Gary but ‘my missus’ who wanted him to take part in the programme. Perhaps that contributed to his attitude although at the end of the R2 interview he did say how much he’d enjoyed the experience.
I didn’t like his continual attempts at joviality but wonder how much of that was nerves on his part. There were moments when he did seem to connect with his ancestors. When he realised that the first two children had died in infancy I felt he was - maybe because he so nearly lost his oldest to childhood leukaemia.

What I did like about the programme was that it was openly admitted he knew nothing about genealogy research so he visited someone who did. There was no pretence that he knew how to read census returns etc which was refreshing – I’m sure he’s not the only celebrity this would apply to. I also liked the dichotomy between James Pratt and Thomas Billingham. Of the ancestors the makers could have chosen I think this was a wise choice. There was no attempt to show ancestors who became national heros but more that we can all have ancestors from all walks of life.

Yes, it was a ‘thin’ episode in many respects but I think the way they presented it – very differently from others in the series – made the best use of the material they had.
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Re: Gary Lineker's episode

Postby 2012girl » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:12 pm

Shameless plugging of Match Of The Day throughout, and filling time watching Gary enter buildings and wandering down long corridors :roll:

Somewhat different to just be presented with a family tree at the start of the episode and not to have him speak to 'Old Aunt Flo' or at least have some idea of someone/something in the family he would like to know more about.

I thought the episode would be about tracing his surname of Lineker, which seems rather unusual to me, but no mention of that whatsoever. Very disappointing and dull episode
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Re: Gary Lineker's episode

Postby Sean Lang » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:36 pm

I think a lot of these comments are too harsh. I didn't have a problem with him using a genealogist - there are two main parts to family history research: establishing the tree and finding the stories about the individuals on it. To be honest, when programmes are doing both I sometimes lose track of the tree until the helpful summary comes up on screen, so cutting to the chase in order to concentrate on the stories seemed perfectly legitimate to me. However, I would agree that it meant that we didn't a clear idea of Gary's personal link to the stories he looked at in the way we do if we've followed the line of descent from the subject upwards.The two stories were chosen because time in prison sounded intriguing, as indeed it proved, and the law writer looked a more interesting job than the shoemakers and people elsewhere on the tree - probably unfair on the shoemakers etc but it did turn up an interesting story so it justified itself in the end. The handloom weaver issue was a missed opportunity, I agree, but I think anyone watching who knew nothing of the situation would have go the right idea. For the rest of it, I thought it worked well. It's Gary's family story, after all, and his own jokiness came across nicely - I thought the jokes and digs at his brother added to the fun. And the gradual realisation of what was probably going on in James Pratt's life, after taking the story lightly at the beginning, is pretty similar to the way many of us respond to stories of what seem to us petty rural crime.
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Re: Gary Lineker's episode

Postby ksouthall » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:02 pm

Sean Lang wrote:I think a lot of these comments are too harsh. I didn't have a problem with him using a genealogist - there are two main parts to family history research: establishing the tree and finding the stories about the individuals on it. To be honest, when programmes are doing both I sometimes lose track of the tree until the helpful summary comes up on screen, so cutting to the chase in order to concentrate on the stories seemed perfectly legitimate to me..... The two stories were chosen because time in prison sounded intriguing, as indeed it proved, and the law writer looked a more interesting job than the shoemakers and people elsewhere on the tree - probably unfair on the shoemakers etc but it did turn up an interesting story so it justified itself in the end. The handloom weaver issue was a missed opportunity..... For the rest of it, I thought it worked well. It's Gary's family story, after all, and his own jokiness came across nicely - I thought the jokes and digs at his brother added to the fun. And the gradual realisation of what was probably going on in James Pratt's life, after taking the story lightly at the beginning, is pretty similar to the way many of us respond to stories of what seem to us petty rural crime.


I agree with Sean's views. I enjoyed the episode. The stories featured were both interesting and I don't think either has been covered before in such detail. For example, the prison and court records were shown and I don't remember seeing those before. It did touch on the handloom weaver situation by showing the poster about the meeting but maybe there wasn't enough time to cover it in more depth.

I thought Gary Lineker came across ok. He admitted not knowing anything about his family history and, like many people who are not interested in history, did not have any concept of the social history of the times James Pratt and Tom Billingham were living in. I have learnt loads about history myself by researching my family so I think it's a bit much to expect all celebrities to have any prior knowledge.

He did at least take on board the information and understand the impact of poverty on James' need to provide for his family by poaching.

As for Gary's jokes about his brother, big deal! Most people tease family members - if you aren't comfortable with your own family, who can you be comfortable with?
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Re: Gary Lineker's episode

Postby ksouthall » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:05 pm

Gary Lineker said this about his brother in 1996:

"Wayne is good at business - he has always been able to turn a penny into a tuppence. I admire the way he has built up the clubs. It is his little empire which will hopefully continue to build and do well and I am very proud of him. Apart from my wife and children, I am closer to Wayne than anyone."
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