Cheryl investigates an ancestor's maritime past in Who Do You Think You Are?, while there's another chance to catch a documentary on the Quintinshill rail disaster
Cheryl explores an ancestor's maritime past on Thursday 15 December
Pick of the week
Who Do You Think You Are?
Thursday 15 December, 8pm, BBC One
Hot on the heels of Liz Bonnin’s odyssey to uncover her family’s roots in Martinique and Trinidad comes pop star Cheryl’s investigation of her family history. We follow the X-Factor judge as she finds out what happened to a mariner ancestor who came to a tragic end, plus she uncovers the experiences of her mysterious great grandfather who fought in one of the First World War’s most bloody battles. One thing is clear though – Cheryl’s North-east roots run very deep. Definitely one not to miss!
Also this week
Secret History - Jutland: WW1'S Great Sea Battle
Saturday 10 December, 7pm, Channel 4
Over a century later, and the debates about who won this famous sea battle are still raging. This documentary re-visits the evidence and uses modern technology to shine a light on events including examining the wrecks using high-tech sonar. Don’t miss the computer reconstructions of the battle – they really bring home the scale and brutality of the attacks.
Digging for Britain
Monday 12 December, 8pm, BBC Four
Join Alice Roberts as she takes a look at some of the UK’s recent archaeological digs in the second series of this popular show. This week she finds herself on Salisbury Plain at a project to discover lost First World War training trenches. A must for military buffs!
His Name was Henry
Tuesday 13 December, 1.30pm, BBC Radio Scotland
When octogenarian Henry Summers was found dead in his Edinburgh home, he’d lain undiscovered for three years. In this fascinating documentary, crime writer Denise Mina looks at the methods used (some of which will chime with family historians) to unearth the facts about Henry’s life.
Six Wives With Lucy Worsley
Wednesday 14 December, 9pm, BBC One
Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived… In part 2 of this refreshing look at a subject that most schoolchildren will know inside out, Lucy Worsley lifts the lid on Henry’s relationship with his second wife Anne Boleyn; her untimely dispatch and his infatuation with her lady-in-waiting Jane Seymour – wife number three.
Britain's Deadlist Rail Disaster: Quintinshill
Wednesday 14 December, 10pm, BBC Four
At 6.50am on 22 May 1915, a goods train, a passenger train and a train carrying troops crashed outside the Quintinshill signal box near Gretna Green in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. More than 220 people died as a result of the collision. Using dramatic reconstructions and contemporary reports, historian Neil Oliver re-examines the evidence to try and uncover the truth behind who was to blame.
The Golden Age of Liners
Wednesday 14 December, 11pm, BBC Four
In their heyday, these floating palaces really captured the public’s imagination. However, Antiques Roadshow’s Paul Atterbury reveals the politics and tragedy behind these icons of the modern age. Relics of a bygone era include a house in Poole, Dorset where cabins from the Mauetania have been loving preserved, while in Scotland there’s an unlikely cinema constructed from the interiors of the SS Homeric.
Words: Claire Vaughan