Who Do You Think You Are? (Irish TV series)

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Who Do You Think You Are?
Who Do You Think You Are? (Irish TV series).png
Genre Documentary
Directed by Ingrid Gargan
Imogen Murphy
Mark Warren
Gerry Hoban
Narrated by Arthur Riordan[1]
Composer(s) Mark Sayer- Wade
Country of origin Ireland
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 12
Executive producer(s) Steve Carson
Miriam O'Callaghan
Producer(s) Isobel Nolan
Marie Eschenbach
Editor(s) Gerry Hoban
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Mint Productions
Original channel RTÉ One
Original run 15 September 2008[2] – 19 October 2009
Related shows Who Do You Think You Are?
External links

Who Do You Think You Are? is an Irish genealogy documentary series that first aired on RTÉ One in 2008. In each episode, a popular Irish personality embarks on a journey to trace their family tree. The series is based on the original version of the franchise, broadcast by the BBC in the United Kingdom.

In the first episode, RTÉ news reporter Charlie Bird discovered his great-great-grandfather had been involved in the Battle of the Nile (1798) and served under Admiral Nelson himself, whilst Bird also discovered that his grandfather was a bigamist.[3]

In the fifth episode, RTÉ presenter Pamela Flood travelled through "19th-century Dublin, taking in red light districts, millionaire solicitors, pawnbrokers, contested wills, illegitimate children and murder". She met historian David Nolan, who has written a history of Corballis House, where her granny was sent to stay; they subsequently discovered she was born out of wedlock.[4]

A second series aired in September 2009.


Series 1 (2008)[edit]

Ep. no. Original air date Celebrity
1 15 September 2008 Charlie Bird[5]
2 22 September 2008 Joe Duffy[6]
3 29 September 2008 Dana Rosemary Scallon
4 6 October 2008 Ardal O'Hanlon
5 13 October 2008 Pamela Flood
6 20 October 2008 Linda Martin[7]

Series 2 (2009)[edit]

Ep.no. Date of original broadcast Personality
1 14 September 2009 Ryan Tubridy
2 21 September 2009 Ivan Yates
3 28 September 2009 Rosanna Davison
4 5 October 2009 Diarmuid Gavin
5 12 October 2009 Fionnula Flanagan
6 19 October 2009 Simon Delaney


The first series was criticised for its attempts to mimic the original BBC version. The Irish Independent remarked that: "Our [the Irish nation] pool of talent is so small that the entire country knows exactly what Charlie Bird's lifestyle and personal circumstances are. He is an RTÉ "personality", to be wheeled out in each and every situation ... ad nauseam. He is meant to be a working journalist, not a personality star. It muddies the waters of credibility when supposedly serious journalists become personality acts".[8] Just before the first episode was broadcast, the Evening Herald ironically compared RTÉ's "awkwardly titled" Where Was Your Family During the Famine? (also broadcast in 2008), in which celebrities traced their family histories back to the darkest period in Ireland's history, to the BBC version.[9] Mention was also made of the high proportion of RTÉ employees involved in the series (Bird is a news reporter, Duffy a radio broadcaster, Flood a television presenter and Martin appears frequently on RTÉ), with a suggestion that the series ought to be renamed Who Do RTÉ Personalities Think They Are?[10]


  1. ^ Credits
  2. ^ "Who Do You Think You Are? begins on RTÉ One". RTÉ. 15 September 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2008. 
  3. ^ "A Bermuda triangle of Bird family mysteries". Irish Independent. 14 September 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2008. 
  4. ^ "16 Blocks". Irish Independent. 11 October 2008. Retrieved 2 November 2008. 
  5. ^ Charlie Bird
  6. ^ Joe Duffy
  7. ^ Watch
  8. ^ "RTE should prepare to stretch the boundaries". Irish Independent. 14 September 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2008. 
  9. ^ "RTE cooks up an appetising drama". Evening Herald. 9 September 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2008. 
  10. ^ "Cullen rightly plays Trump card". Irish Independent. 28 September 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2008. 

External links[edit]