Known for their comedic banter, father and son Jack and Michael Whitehall co-present talkshow Backchat and Netflix series Travels with My Father.
They’re now the first pair of relatives to discover their family origins on Who Do You Think You Are? together.
Here are five things you might not know about the Whitehalls…
1. Theatrical roots
The Whitehall family has deep roots in the world of theatre. Michael Whitehall is a producer and theatrical agent and his wife Hilary is an actor under the stagename Hilary Gish. Jack’s godfathers were the actors Richard Griffiths and Nigel Havers.
2. Potter pals
Jack Whitehall went to school with Harry Potter and Twilight actor Robert Pattinson, who he jokes used to beat him for the best parts in school plays. He also auditioned for the part of Harry Potter but was turned down because he hadn’t read the book. Of course, the part went to Jack’s fellow WDYTYA? star Daniel Radcliffe.
3. Small screen star
However, Jack’s acting career did take off eventually – he first starred in student sitcom Fresh Meat and went on to play a teacher in Bad Education (for which he was also a writer and associate producer). He can currently be seen in Amazon Prime’s Good Omens.
4. Literary link
As well as appearing together on TV and on Jack’s YouTube channel, Jack and Michael have worked together on three books. Jack illustrated Michael’s 2007 memoir Shark Infested Waters: Tales of an Actors’ Agent, in 2013 they co-wrote Him & Me: A Father and Son Remember It All Differently and in 2021 they brought out How to Survive Family Holidays co-written with actor Hilary Whitehall, Jack’s mother and Michael’s wife.
5. Double act
When he appeared on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs in 2018, Jack said that he thinks audiences enjoy his banter with Michael because it reminds them of their relationship with their own fathers: “The way they bicker and the way he puts me down, and the way I wind him up is very relatable and, whilst he says glibly he never wanted it and ‘Why am I doing this?’, he loves it and I love it.”