Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey: when is it on TV, and what’s it about?

By Guest, 4 November 2019 - 11:06am

We take a look at the top family history TV programmes in November – including Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey, Remembrance Day TV specials and the return of Murder, Mystery and My Family

Ant and Dec's DNA Journey BAFTA
Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly at the BAFTA awards, May 2019 (Credit: Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Pick of the month

Ant and Dec's DNA Journey

When is Ant and Dec's DNA Journey on TV?

Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey is on ITV from 9pm to 10.30pm on Sunday 10 November 2019.

What’s it about?

A DNA test is a way to open up new lines of genealogical research, but where might it take you?

This two-part special sees popular TV hosts Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly getting tests and going on a Who Do You Think You Are?-style journey to explore their tree.

It’s research that takes them to Ireland and the USA, as the duo meet relatives they didn’t know existed.

What do they discover about their families?

We can expect to meet a great grandfather who was a war hero, a former US female wrestling promoter, an ancestor whose bones were deemed to be “of historical importance” – and even a link to royalty.

“I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to historical events, so to get the chance to research our family history using our DNA was too good an opportunity to pass up,” said Ant when the show was announced.

“What we find out is mind-blowing. It’s something that will stay with us both forever.”

Get more previews of this month's top TV in the November 2019 issue of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, on sale now


Also showing

They Shall Not Grow Old
Sunday 10 November

BBC Two are offering another opportunity to see this astonishing documentary, released last year to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson has painstakingly restored and colourised the surviving film footage of the conflict, creating an astonishingly vivid depiction of our ancestors’ often brutal experiences on the Western Front.

The Unremembered: Britain's Forgotten War Heroes
Channel 4
Sunday 10 November

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission tends to memorials for those who fell in battle during the First and Second World Wars. Each of them was given the same gravestone regardless of rank, background or creed.

Yet one group were never honoured in this way: the black African soldiers and porters who died on their own continent fighting for the British in the First World War. In this documentary, David Lammy MP travels to Africa to see the sites of mass burials. What should be done to mark the service of those who are even now unremembered?

Gary Lineker: My Grandad's Untold War
Monday 11 November 9pm

In the year of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, those who landed at Normandy have rightly been honoured for their courage. And yet, as a new documentary presented by former Who Do You Think You Are? subject Gary Lineker reminds us, this was a war fought on multiple fronts. The programme also highlights that, no matter the era, many veterans return from the front reluctant to share their experiences with their families.

One such soul was Gary’s grandfather Stanley Abbs, who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps. Rather than landing in France, he was sent to Italy. To find out more, the Match Of The Day presenter and former England captain follows in his grandfather’s footsteps. He uncovers stories not just of his own grandfather’s heroism, but also hears first-hand eyewitness accounts from veterans who served alongside Stanley.

Murder, Mystery and My Family
Weekdays from 25 November

Criminal barristers Sasha Wass and Jeremy Dein are back to re-evaluate the evidence in 10 cold cases and talk to the descendants of those involved.

They begin by examining their oldest case yet, going back to 1839 when, in Rugeley, Staffordshire, labourers pulled the body of 37-year-old Christina Collins from the Trent and Mersey Canal. Three men, including 27-year-old George Thomas, were found guilty of Christina’s murder and hanged.

It was a case complicated by the men facing two trials and, 180 years on, Thomas’ relatives Jeanette and Patricia are convinced of his innocence. Is there sufficient evidence to persuade a judge that he was wrongly convicted?

My Grandparents' War
Channel 4
Wednesdays from 27 November

It’s 80 years since the outbreak of the Second World War. It’s near enough in time for most of us to have at least an inkling of what our relatives went through, yet far enough for the details of their experiences to have become lost. My Grandparents’ War follows four actors – Mark Rylance, Kristin Scott Thomas, Helena Bonham Carter and Carey Mulligan – as they explore the stories of their forebears and fill in the gaps.

The Crown
From 17 November

Netflix’s drama charting the story of Elizabeth II’s reign is back for a third series – and we can expect some changes. Most obviously, Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies have succeeded Claire Foy and Matt Smith as Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Not that we should expect the couple’s marriage to be quite so central to the story as events pick up in 1964. Instead, the focus will turn to the often turbulent relationship between Margaret (Helena Bonham Carter) and Lord Snowdon (Ben Daniels). We can also expect to see the emergence of Prince Charles as a public figure.



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