The celebrity line-up of the long-awaited seventeenth series of Who Do You Think You Are? has finally been revealed.
The popular genealogy series will broadcast four episodes, filmed before the coronavirus lockdown began, on BBC One in October.
Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker, comedian and author David Walliams, Gavin & Stacey’s Ruth Jones and Silent Witness actor Liz Carr will take turns uncovering the unexpected, fascinating and sometimes tragic tales in their family trees.
Who Do You Think You Are? executive producer Colette Flight said: “In these challenging times, the stories of courage, sacrifice and resilience they uncover are all the more resonant, but there’s also plenty of humour along the way too.”
Jodie Whittaker made history as the first woman to play the lead role in Doctor Who, and her episode sees her travelling in time without a TARDIS, as she learns the poignant reality behind a family myth surrounding her great uncle’s sacrifice in the First World War, and uncovers some uncomfortable truths about her great great grandfather in Yorkshire.
Jodie Whittaker said: “Who Do You Think You Are? took me on an incredible journey through some of my family history.
“I discovered people and events that I had no idea existed before this.
“I was lucky to go home and see my Mum and Dad, lucky to see places I’d never been to before, and lucky to meet and shake hands with (!) some wonderful and intelligent people whose insight into history blew my mind.
“And only in February did I embark on this journey, and knowing where we are now, it feels even more special to have had this adventure.”
In the other episodes of the series, actor, author and television personality David Williams discovers he’s not the first entertainer in his family tree and also discovers a family tragedy involving his great grandfather’s experiences in the First World War.
There’s more Great War history as Silent Witness actor and activist Liz Carr learns of her paternal grandfather’s experiences in the Royal Navy’s Northern Patrol.
She also travels to Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland and gets forensic, exposing an ancestor’s role in an attempted murder.
Liz Carr said: “I have loved every moment of discovery, of following in the footsteps of my ancestors and learning how the past really has informed my present.”
In her episode Ruth Jones, best known as Gavin & Stacey’s Nessa, learns that her paternal grandfather was a key player in the Medical Aid Societies of South Wales, which provided a model for the National Health Service.
She also discovers a lineage of world-travelling mariners on her mother’s side.
Rosemary Collins is the staff writer of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine