What is DNA Journey?

DNA Journey is ITV’s major family history series. Similar to BBC One’s Who Do You Think You Are?, it follows celebrities who want to discover more about their family history, but with a couple of differences – each episode pairs up two celebrities to go on their DNA journey together, and they use DNA tests to start their journey.

DNA Journey began with a 2019 show following Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly as they uncovered their family histories. It is produced by Ant and Dec’s production company Mitre Television, along with Voltage TV. Three more series of the programme, featuring other celebrity duos, have been broadcast since then.

When is the next series of DNA Journey?

Series 5 of DNA Journey will start broadcasting on ITV from 9pm on Tuesday 7 March.

Who is on the new series of DNA Journey, and what is it about?

In the first episode of DNA Journey series 5, actor Hugh Bonneville, known for his performances in Downton Abbey and The Gold, and comedian John Bishop team up to investigate their family history.

The two became friends by chance after meeting at a vaccination centre during the covid-19 pandemic.

On DNA Journey, they're shocked to discover that Hugh’s ancestor John Freeman worked in a family bakery just four doors down from John’s ancestor Andrew Keegan’s music shop on Capel Street, Dublin, and the two men were both involved in the trade union movement in the 1840s.

John also discovers that his 3x great grandfather Patrick Reardon emigrated from Ireland to Liverpool and built a business in the booming salt industry.

Hugh Bonneville, real name Hugh Williams, took his stage name from his middle name, which he discovers comes from his ancestor Richard Bonniwell. In the 1820 Bonniwell, a naval architect, helped make sailors' working conditions safer.

The other episodes of DNA Journey's latest series will feature Line of Duty actors Adrian Dunbar and Neil Morrisey; TV presenter Alex Brooker and comedian Johnny Vegas; and Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse and her dancer sister Oti.

Who else has been on DNA Journey?

The complete lineup of celebrity pairs who've previously been on DNA Journey is:

  • TV presenters Anthony 'Ant' McPartlin and Declan 'Dec' Donnelly
  • Cricketer Freddie Flintoff and footballer Jamie Redknapp
  • TV personalities Alan Carr and Amanda Holden
  • Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet and his DJ son Roman.
  • The Chase stars Anne Hegerty and Shaun Wallace
  • Ice-skating duo Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean
  • Actors Maureen Lipman and Rula Lenska
  • Comedians Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan
  • Daytime TV queens Kate Garraway and Alison Hammond
  • Actors Alison Steadman and Larry Lamb
  • Comedians Joel Dommett and Tom Allen

Where can I watch DNA Journey?

All previous episodes of DNA Journey are available on ITV Hub.

Rosemary Collins is the features editor of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine