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

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Who Do You Think You Are?
A green tree on a hill in a green field with the text 'Who Do You Think You Are?' above styled as a family tree
Narrated by
Theme music composerMark Sayer-Wade
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series15
No. of episodes128 and 2 specials
(as of 7 September 2017 or
Series 14, Episode 9)

11 July 2007:
Adoption Special

6 August 2014:
10 Years, 100 Shows Special
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Wall to Wall
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Productions UK
Original network
Original release12 October 2004 (2004-10-12) –
External links

Who Do You Think You Are? is a British genealogy documentary series that has aired on the BBC since 2004. In each episode, a celebrity traces their family tree. It is made by the production company Wall to Wall. The programme has regularly attracted an audience of more than 6 million viewers.[1] More than ten international adaptations of the programme have been produced.


Series one and two were broadcast on BBC Two, and the first was the channel's highest-rating programme of 2004. This led to episodes being shown on BBC One from the third series onwards. The current narrator, as of Series 14 in 2017, is Phil Davis. Mark Strong took over from David Morrissey after the first series, which was nominated for "Best Factual Series or Strand" in the 2005 BAFTAs; Cherie Lunghi was the narrator between Series 10 and 13.

In the first series, the last ten minutes of each episode featured presenter Adrian Chiles and genealogical researcher Nick Barratt giving tips on tracing a family tree. In 2007, a special episode was broadcast in conjunction with the BBC's "Family Wanted" campaign featuring Nicky Campbell, who was adopted a few days after he was born.[2]

The theme tune was composed by Mark Sayer-Wade, who also provided the background music for earlier episodes.[3] The music for later episodes is provided by Julian Hamlin and Edmund Jolliffe.

Series 1 (2004)[edit]

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1Bill Oddie12 October 2004 (2004-10-12)5.79
Oddie, brought up by his father and paternal grandmother, goes back to the Birmingham area to learn more about his mother's life and her struggles with manic depression and her mother-in-law. Then he learns more about his grandmother's life, her husband and family in Rochdale, Lancashire. He ends his journey learning more about his Oddie ancestors in Grindleton, Lancashire.
2Amanda Redman19 October 2004 (2004-10-19)4.63
3Sue Johnston26 October 2004 (2004-10-26)4.25
4Jeremy Clarkson2 November 2004 (2004-11-02)4.95
5Ian Hislop9 November 2004 (2004-11-09)4.96
Hislop, who was 12 when his father died, never met his grandfathers. Hislop traces his family history by travelling to his late mother's native Jersey, where for five years of her childhood, the island was occupied by Nazi Germany. He travels to Clary, France, where his paternal grandfather fought with the 9th Highland Light Infantry against the Hindenburg Line. He then goes to South Africa, where his maternal grandfather fought with the Royal Lancaster Regiment in the Battle of Spion Kop during the Boer War. While in South Africa, he discovered his father's maternal great great grandfather had gone to South Africa in 1795 with the 72nd Regiment, Duke of Albany's Own Highlanders in an expedition to capture Cape Town from the Dutch.
6Moira Stuart16 November 2004 (2004-11-16)5.35
7David Baddiel23 November 2004 (2004-11-23)4.60
8Lesley Garrett30 November 2004 (2004-11-30)4.41
9Meera Syal7 December 2004 (2004-12-07)3.97
10Vic Reeves14 December 2004 (2004-12-14)4.46

Series 2 (2006)[edit]

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1Jeremy Paxman11 January 2006 (2006-01-11)5.48
2Sheila Hancock18 January 2006 (2006-01-18)5.43
3Stephen Fry25 January 2006 (2006-01-25)5.86
4Julian Clary1 February 2006 (2006-02-01)5.94
5Jane Horrocks8 February 2006 (2006-02-08)5.64
6Gurinder Chadha15 February 2006 (2006-02-15)3.96

Series 3 (2006)[edit]

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1Barbara Windsor6 September 2006 (2006-09-06)6.40
2Robert Lindsay13 September 2006 (2006-09-13)5.95
3Colin Jackson20 September 2006 (2006-09-20)5.19
4David Tennant27 September 2006 (2006-09-27)5.75
Tennant traces his paternal roots to the Isle of Mull, and is surprised to find his family came not from the lowlands but the Scottish Highlands. He discovers his maternal grandfather was a star player for Derry City F.C. in the 1930s, and expresses concern when he finds that other relatives were members of the Orange Order. He is disturbed to learn that his great-grandfather played a key role in suppressing Catholics in Derry, Northern Ireland, and that Catholic cousins came under fire on Bloody Sunday.
5David Dickinson4 October 2006 (2006-10-04)5.80
6Nigella Lawson11 October 2006 (2006-10-11)6.15
She traced her ancestors to Ashkenazi Jews who originate from eastern Europe and Germany, leaving Lawson surprised not to have Iberian-Sephardi ancestry in the family as she had believed.[5] She also uncovered that her maternal great-great-great grandfather, Coenraad Sammes (later Coleman Joseph), had fled to England from Amsterdam in 1830 to escape a prison sentence following a conviction for theft.
7Jeremy Irons18 October 2006 (2006-10-18)5.82
8Julia Sawalha25 October 2006 (2006-10-25)5.54

Adoption special (2007)[edit]

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1Nicky Campbell11 July 2007 (2007-07-11)4.32
Campbell traces his adoptive family's roots in Scotland and Australia.

Series 4 (2007)[edit]

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1Natasha Kaplinsky6 September 2007 (2007-09-06)6.78
Kaplinsky follows her paternal line to Slonim in Belarus and is shown official documentation relating to her cousin's family. This includes the death of family members during the "liquidation" – massacre – of the Slonim Jewish ghetto by the Nazis and another's escape to the partisans and eventual immigration to Australia. Her maternal line included an apothecary to King George III.
2John Hurt13 September 2007 (2007-09-13)5.80
3Griff Rhys Jones20 September 2007 (2007-09-20)5.75
4Carol Vorderman27 September 2007 (2007-09-27)6.53
Vorderman discovers that her father was an active member of the Dutch resistance during the Nazi occupation. He died while the programme was being filmed. Her great-grandfather Adolphe Vorderman played a key role in the discovery of vitamins.
5Alistair McGowan4 October 2007 (2007-10-04)6.17
6Graham Norton11 October 2007 (2007-10-11)6.88
It was discovered that Norton's Walker ancestors were originally planters from Wentworth, South Yorkshire, who were sent over from England in the 17th century to take over Irish land. Some members of his family fought for the British monarchy during the Irish Rebellion of 1798 and took part in the Carnew massacre. Another member of his family was later killed in battle by the United Irishmen.
7Matthew Pinsent18 November 2007 (2007-11-18)6.57

Series 5 (2008)[edit]

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1Patsy Kensit13 August 2008 (2008-08-13)7.10
2Boris Johnson20 August 2008 (2008-08-20)7.04
3Jerry Springer27 August 2008 (2008-08-27)6.71
Springer, who was born in England but emigrated to the United States at a young age, travels to the UK to find out how his parents were allowed in as refugees from Nazi Germany in August 1939. He discovered that someone in England paid £50 as a guarantor to sponsor his parents, but the rest of the family was left behind. He travels to his great-grandfather's hometown of Neustettin (now Szczecinek, Poland), where his great grandfather, Abraham Springer, successfully appealed for outside help after anti-Semitic politician Ernst Henrici stirred up violence in 1881. Springer then travels to Łódź, where his maternal grandmother, Marie Kallmann, was deported in 1941. She was sent to the Chełmno extermination camp in May 1942. Springer's paternal grandmother, Selma Springer, died in Theresienstadt concentration camp.
4Esther Rantzen3 September 2008 (2008-09-03)6.44
5Ainsley Harriott10 September 2008 (2008-09-10)6.70
6David Suchet17 September 2008 (2008-09-17)6.79
Suchet, who has a love of water, discovers that his maternal great-great-great-grandfather was captain of a brig which foundered off the east coast of England. His paternal ancestors were Russian Jews, and he traces their flight from Russia to Turkey, Prussia, South Africa, and then the United Kingdom. He learns about his grandfather and great-grandfather, both of whom were noted photographers.
7Jodie Kidd24 September 2008 (2008-09-24)5.87
8Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen29 September 2008 (2008-09-29)4.72

Series 6 (2009)[edit]

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1Rory Bremner2 February 2009 (2009-02-02)6.44
2Fiona Bruce9 February 2009 (2009-02-09)5.86
3Rick Stein16 February 2009 (2009-02-16)5.64
4Zoë Wanamaker23 February 2009 (2009-02-23)5.82
5Kevin Whately2 March 2009 (2009-03-02)5.99
6Davina McCall15 July 2009 (2009-07-15)6.92
7Chris Moyles22 July 2009 (2009-07-22)5.23
8Kate Humble29 July 2009 (2009-07-29)5.19
9David Mitchell5 August 2009 (2009-08-05)4.55
10Kim Cattrall12 August 2009 (2009-08-12)6.27
Cattrall researches her maternal grandfather, George Baugh's mysterious disappearance in 1938. She discovers that he became a bigamist in 1939 and had four more children. The episode reveals that Baugh's new family emigrated to Australia in 1961, and had lived there until Baugh's death in 1974.
11Martin Freeman19 August 2009 (2009-08-19)6.48
Freeman researches his paternal grandfather, who he learns died while serving as a medic during the Battle of Dunkirk in World War II. He discovers that his great-grandfather was blind, married three times, and meets a cousin he never knew he had. He also discovers how syphilis (a common disease at the time) ravaged his family in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Series 7 (2010)[edit]

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1Bruce Forsyth[6]19 July 2010 (2010-07-19)7.22
2Rupert Everett26 July 2010 (2010-07-26)5.97
3Dervla Kirwan2 August 2010 (2010-08-02)5.58
Growing up, Kirwan knew she was related to Irish national hero Michael Collins but did not know how. She discovers he was her great-great uncle: his sister, Margaret Collins O'Driscoll, was the mother of Kirwan's maternal grandfather. Kirwans seeks to find how her grandfather, Finian O'Driscoll, was involved in the IRA. She travels to Clonakilty, County Cork, birthplace of Michael Collins. On her father's side, she finds out her great grandfather, Henry Kahn, was a Polish Jew from the Russian Empire who broke with his community to marry an Irish Catholic girl in the late 19th century. Kirwan was surprised to discover they were married in the Protestant Church of Ireland, after the Catholic church refused to marry them.
4Monty Don9 August 2010 (2010-08-09)5.95
5Rupert Penry-Jones16 August 2010 (2010-08-16)5.68
Penry-Jones travels to India and confirms the family rumour that they have Indian ancestry. His great-great-great grandfather Thomas Johnstone was a sergeant major in the Royal Madras Fusiliers, and was part of the British attempts to quell the Indian Rebellion of 1857. He discovers Johnstone's wife, Louisa Collum, was of Anglo-Indian heritage.
6Alexander Armstrong23 August 2010 (2010-08-23)6.46
Armstrong traces his mother's side of the family, who are descended from Irish landed gentry. The McCauslands were originally seated in Drenagh, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland and trace their ancestry through the Rouse-Boughton family, to Edward Somerset, 2nd Marquess of Worcester, a descendant of William the Conqueror via Edward III and the Beauforts, Dukes of Somerset.
7Jason Donovan30 August 2010 (2010-08-30)5.55
8Hugh Quarshie6 September 2010 (2010-09-06)5.42
9Alan Cumming13 September 2010 (2010-09-13)5.15
Cumming traces the life of his maternal grandfather, who the family was told died while cleaning his pistol while serving as a British police officer in Malaya. He learns about his grandfather's terrifying experiences as a war hero during the Battle of Dunkirk in World War II, his battle wounds received while helping stave off the Empire of Japan's invasion of India during the Burma Campaign and his psychological problems which led to his death while playing Russian roulette in Malaya.

Series 8 (2011)[edit]

# Celebrity[7][8] Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1June Brown10 August 2011 (2011-08-10)6.62
2J.K. Rowling17 August 2011 (2011-08-17)7.00
Rowling researches her mother's paternal great-grandfather, Louis Volant, a French head waiter who previously worked at Savoy Hotel in the 1920s. Volant had won the Croix de Guerre for his bravery during the First World War. She also learns about Volant's mother, Salomée Schuch, an unmarried maid working in Paris at the time of his birth. At age 17, she had fled her hometown of Brumath in Alsace – which became part of the German Empire during the Franco-Prussian War – to become a naturalised French citizen when she eventually married Louis' father.
3Sebastian Coe24 August 2011 (2011-08-24)5.45
4Larry Lamb31 August 2011 (2011-08-31)5.45
5Emilia Fox7 September 2011 (2011-09-07)6.06
Fox researches her family history hoping to discover where the acting bug in her family originated from. Fox's father believes that Fox's paternal grandfather, Robin Fox, a theatrical agent, likely would have wanted to be an actor. Fox learns that Robin's mother was Hilda Hanbury, an actress who appeared on the London stage in the late 1890s. Hanbury traveled to America with theater manager Herbert Beerbohm Tree, though did not find great success and was reduced to small roles. Fox also learns that Sampson Fox, father of Hanbury's husband Arthur ("Willie") was a millionaire who rose to prominence from a child laborer in a textile mill to the owner of the Leeds Forge Company. With his large fortune, Sampson Fox was the sole donor for the Royal College of Music in London. However, Sampson Fox was also involved in a scandal regarding his promotion of watergas as an energy source and the financial success of its investors.
6Alan Carr14 September 2011 (2011-09-14)5.49
7Robin Gibb21 September 2011 (2011-09-21)4.37
8Richard Madeley[9]28 September 2011 (2011-09-28)5.05
9Len Goodman5 October 2011 (2011-10-05)5.03
10Tracey Emin12 October 2011 (2011-10-12)Unknown (under 4.21)

Series 9 (2012)[edit]

# Celebrity[10] Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1Samantha Womack15 August 2012 (2012-08-15)5.30
2Gregg Wallace22 August 2012 (2012-08-22)5.46
3Patrick Stewart29 August 2012 (2012-08-29)4.58
4Annie Lennox5 September 2012 (2012-09-05)4.86
5Hugh Dennis12 September 2012 (2012-09-12)4.87
6Alex Kingston19 September 2012 (2012-09-19)4.97
7William Roache26 September 2012 (2012-09-26)4.30
8Celia Imrie10 October 2012 (2012-10-10)4.89
9John Barnes17 October 2012 (2012-10-17)Unknown (under 4.10)
10John Bishop6 December 2012 (2012-12-06)5.53

Series 10 (2013)[edit]

# Celebrity[11] Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1Una Stubbs24 July 2013 (2013-07-24)5.24
2Nigel Havers31 July 2013 (2013-07-31)5.39
3Minnie Driver7 August 2013 (2013-08-07)4.95
4Lesley Sharp14 August 2013 (2013-08-14)4.52
5Gary Lineker21 August 2013 (2013-08-21)5.37
6Nick Hewer28 August 2013 (2013-08-28)4.52
7Nitin Ganatra4 September 2013 (2013-09-04)4.31
8Sarah Millican11 September 2013 (2013-09-11)4.57
9Marianne Faithfull18 September 2013 (2013-09-18)3.78
10John Simpson25 September 2013 (2013-09-25)3.99

Series 11 (2014)[edit]

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
Who Do They Think They Are?: 10 Years, 100 Shows[12]6 August 2014 (2014-08-06)Unknown (under 3.34)
1Julie Walters[13]7 August 2014 (2014-08-07)5.23
Walters traces her Irish great-grandfather, Anthony Clarke.
2Brian Blessed14 August 2014 (2014-08-14)5.31
Blessed traces his great-great-great-grandfather, Barnabus Blessed, a bookbinder, and discovers that after moving from London to Portsmouth, his four children were left orphans. Blessed's great-great-grandfather, Jabez Blessed, became a "real life Oliver Twist".[14]
3Tamzin Outhwaite21 August 2014 (2014-08-21)4.94
4Brendan O'Carroll28 August 2014 (2014-08-28)6.06
5Sheridan Smith4 September 2014 (2014-09-04)4.74
6Mary Berry11 September 2014 (2014-09-11)4.75
7Martin Shaw18 September 2014 (2014-09-18)5.39
8Reggie Yates25 September 2014 (2014-09-25)4.18
9Billy Connolly2 October 2014 (2014-10-02)5.74
10Twiggy9 October 2014 (2014-10-09)5.33

Series 12 (2015)[edit]

On 23 June 2015, the BBC confirmed the lineup for Series 12, which began on 13 August 2015.[15][16]

# Celebrity Original air date[17] Viewers (millions)[4]
1Paul Hollywood13 August 2015 (2015-08-13)5.08
2Jane Seymour20 August 2015 (2015-08-20)5.14
Seymour traces the lives of two of her Polish Jewish great aunts during World War II.
3Derek Jacobi27 August 2015 (2015-08-27)4.68
Jacobi, a descendant of Huguenots who fled persecution by Catholics, travels to France, where he discovers the horrors his Protestant ancestors faced during persecution. His sixth great-grandfather Joseph de la Plaigne, a prominent financier of Louis XIV, lived as a covert Protestant following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. He was uncovered and imprisoned by the king in the Château de Loches in 1701. He apparently bribed his way out of prison the next year and fled to London. In 1708, two years before his death, the 70-year-old de la Plaigne married fellow Huguenot Salomé de la Bastide, sister of Colonel Armand de la Bastide, and 45 years his junior. In 1709 they had a son, Guillaume, who was baptised with William Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Devonshire as his godfather. Guillaume anglicised his name to William Laplain and was chaplain to the Dukes of Devonshire.
4Jerry Hall3 September 2015 (2015-09-03)4.38
5Gareth Malone10 September 2015 (2015-09-10)4.56
6Anne Reid17 September 2015 (2015-09-17)4.70
7Frank Gardner24 September 2015 (2015-09-24)4.41
8Anita Rani1 October 2015 (2015-10-01)4.38
9Mark Gatiss8 October 2015 (2015-10-08)Unknown (under 3.80)
10Frances de la Tour22 October 2015 (2015-10-22)3.83
Actress Frances de la Tour discovers aristocratic lineage. Her great-great-great-great grandmother Maria Elizabeth Adderley, stepdaughter of Robert Hobart, 4th Earl of Buckinghamshire, married captain Alan Gardner in 1796. They divorced in 1805 after he discovered her affair with Henry Jadis, nephew of the Earl of Strathmore. Lady Gardner had an illegitimate child with Jadis, Henry Fenton Gardner (born in 1802), who was declared illegitimate by the House of Lords in 1825 following the Gardner Peerage Case, in which Henry unsuccessfully attempted to prove he was the rightful heir to the Gardner peerage. De la Tour visits Doddington Hall and Seaton Delaval Hall to find out more about Jadis' mother, the Hon. Sophia Ann (née Delaval), daughter of John Delaval, 1st Baron Delaval. De la Tour discovers Sophia's sad story of becoming pregnant before marriage with Henry, and rushing to marry a man beneath her status, John Jadis. After suffering abuse from a drunken Jadis, Sophia divorced him but became ostracised socially. She developed an addiction to laudanum and died at 38.

Series 13 (2016–17)[edit]

On 13 July, the line-up for the 13th series was confirmed.[18] The series started on 24 November 2016.

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1Danny Dyer24 November 2016 (2016-11-24)5.45
Dyer discovers that his 3×great grandmother had a criminal record for concealing the birth of her baby, who died, that his 15× great grandfather was Thomas Cromwell, his 14× great grandmother was Elizabeth Seymour, the sister of Jane Seymour, who was Henry VIII's third wife and Queen, and that his 22× great grandfather was Edward III.
2Amanda Holden1 December 2016 (2016-12-01)4.71
Holden investigates a family rumour that she is of French heritage on her mother's side. She discovers that her 5× great-grandfather Collin Thomas served a year's imprisonment after breaking his apprenticeship as a cordwainer by enlisting in the Royal Navy aged 15. Following his sentence, he enlisted in the British Army's 51st (2nd Yorkshire West Riding) Regiment of Foot in 1807 and fought in the Peninsular War. In 1814, while with his regiment in Bordeaux in South Western France, he met a local woman, Radegonde Charbonnel. He deserted from the army shortly before he was due to muster out, married Radegonde in 1816 and began a family, moving his wife and eldest children back to his home in Cornwall several years afterwards. She also discovers that her paternal grandfather, Frank Holden, a psychiatric nurse, survived the June 1940 bombing of the RMS Lancastria, which sank with the loss of thousands of lives, outside the port of Saint-Nazaire.
3Liz Bonnin8 December 2016 (2016-12-08)3.94
Bonnin travels to Trinidad to discover her maternal family's Indian heritage, discovering that her 2× great-grandfather, Timothy Sirju, travelled to Trinidad from India with his family in 1872, where he worked as an indentured servant. She then travels to Martinique to trace her paternal family's French heritage and discovers that her 3× great-grandfather, François Alexandre Gros Désormeaux, was a plantation and slave owner who married one of his freed slaves, Marie Joseph, in 1835, and was actually born a slave. He and his mother, Pauline Zoé, were freed by his father, also François Alexandre Gros Désormeaux, and Pauline Zoé was a rare example of a freed female slave inheriting a plantation and becoming a slave owner.
4Cheryl15 December 2016 (2016-12-15)4.81
Cheryl researches her maternal family. Research shows that her paternal line is from Tyneside and that there were a number of coal miners amongst Cheryl's forebears. When tracing further back, in one of the branches of her paternal line, researchers find that her ancestry includes several mariners. The investigation into Cheryl's maternal line shows that her grandmother, Olga Ridley, was one of twin girls born to Edith Annie Burton, the housekeeper for a widower named Joseph Ridley who already had a number of children from his marriage. Joseph Ridley had fought in World War I in the Durham Light Infantry as a pioneer in France and, from an examination of the census, before the war, he had been a grocery warehouseman.
5Ricky Tomlinson22 December 2016 (2016-12-22)4.28
6Ian McKellen25 January 2017 (2017-01-25)4.21
McKellen discovers that his great uncle, Frank Lowes, was an actor, and his great-great-grandfather, Robert Lowes, campaigned for a half-holiday for Manchester's workers on Saturdays, an event that led to the evolution of the modern weekend.
7Greg Davies1 February 2017 (2017-02-01)4.63
8Warwick Davis15 February 2017 (2017-02-15)5.24
9Sunetra Sarker22 February 2017 (2017-02-22)3.97
10Sophie Raworth8 March 2017 (2017-03-08)4.45

Series 14 (2017)[edit]

On 23 June 2017, the BBC announced the line-up for the programme's 14th series, which again would comprise 10 episodes.

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1Charles Dance6 July 2017 (2017-07-06)4.32
2Craig Revel Horwood13 July 2017 (2017-07-13)4.43
3Clare Balding20 July 2017 (2017-07-20)4.83
4Adil Ray27 July 2017 (2017-07-27)3.82
5Emma Willis3 August 2017 (2017-08-03)4.25
6Lulu17 August 2017 (2017-08-17)4.67
7Fearne Cotton24 August 2017 (2017-08-24)4.08
8Noel Clarke31 August 2017 (2017-08-31)3.48
9Lisa Hammond7 September 2017 (2017-09-07)3.71
10Ruby Wax4 October 2017 (2017-10-04)4.47

Series 15 (2018)[edit]

On 10 May 2018, the BBC announced the lineup of celebrities taking part in Series 15, which aired during the summer of 2018.[19]

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[4]
1Michelle Keegan6 June 2018 (2018-06-06)[20]3.19
2Olivia Colman9 July 2018 (2018-07-09)4.19
3Lee Mack16 July 2018 (2018-07-16)4.31
4Boy George25 July 2018 (2018-07-25)4.54
5Shirley Ballas30 July 2018 (2018-07-30)4.36
6Marvin Humes6 August 2018 (2018-08-06)4.26
7Robert Rinder13 August 2018 (2018-08-13)5.43
8Jonnie Peacock20 August 2018 (2018-08-20)3.92

Series 16 (2019)[edit]

On 9 June 2019, the BBC announced the celebrities taking part in Series 16. The line-up features Kate Winslet, Daniel Radcliffe, Sharon Osbourne, Mark Wright, Naomie Harris, Paul Merton, Katherine Ryan and Jack and Michael Whitehall.[21] The series began on 22 July 2019.[22]

# Celebrity Original air date Viewers (millions)[23]
1Daniel Radcliffe22 July 2019 (2019-07-22)[24]TBA
2Naomie Harris29 July 2019 (2019-07-29)TBA
3Jack and Michael Whitehall5 August 2019 (2019-08-05)TBA
4Kate Winslet12 August 2019 (2019-08-12)TBA
5Katherine Ryan19 August 2019 (2019-08-19)TBA
6Paul Merton28 August 2019 (2019-08-28)TBA
7Sharon Osbourne4 September 2019 (2019-09-04)TBA
8Mark Wright11 September 2019 (2019-09-11)TBA

Awards and nominations[edit]

The programme was nominated for the 2010 BAFTA Television Award for Best Factual Series.[25]

Media releases[edit]

Series 1 – 11, 13 and 15 of Who Do You Think You Are? are available on DVD in the UK (Region 2).

In October 2007, BBC Magazines began issuing Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, a monthly publication that includes material from the TV series.

The series 1–4 box set of Who Do You Think You Are? is available, distributed by Acorn Media UK.[26]

Complete Series Release dates DVD Extras
Bonus Features
Of Discs
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Complete
First Series
TBA 5 March 2007 17 September 2008 Unseen Footage, First Steps to Researching Your Family 3
The Complete
Second Series
TBA 4 September 2007 12 November 2008 Unseen Footage 2
The Complete
Third Series
TBA 12 January 2009 18 March 2009 None 3
The Complete
Fourth Series
TBA 3 August 2009 20 May 2009 Special episode in conjunction with the BBC's "Family Wanted" campaign featuring Nicky Campbell, who was adopted a few days after he was born. 3
The Complete
Fifth Series
TBA 1 February 2010 TBA Three behind-the-scenes features 3
The Complete
Sixth Series
TBA 6 September 2010 TBA None 4
The Complete
Seventh Series
TBA 7 March 2011 TBA None 3
The Complete
Eighth Series
TBA 20 August 2012[27] TBA None 3
The Complete
Ninth Series
TBA 5 August 2013[28] TBA None 3
The Complete
Tenth Series
TBA 22 September 2014[29] TBA None 3
The Complete
Eleventh Series
TBA 10 November 2014[30] TBA Who Do They Think They Are?: 10 Years, 100 Shows 3
The Complete
Thirteenth Series
TBA 6 August 2018[31] TBA None 4
The Complete
Fifteenth Series
TBA 24 September 2018[32] TBA None 3

Other countries[edit]

The TV format of the series has proved popular around the world and the BBC has licensed it to many foreign television companies, who have produced their own individual versions:

TVP1 has aired a Polish version, called Sekrety rodzinne, which was broadcast from November 2006 to March 2007.

In September 2007, a first series of Canadian version, consisting of 13 episodes, aired on CBC Television. In 2015, Radio-Canada produced a French language version called Qui êtes-vous ?[33]

An Australian version aired on SBS in January 2008, after six episodes of the BBC version had been shown; the BBC programmes were those featuring Stephen Fry, Bill Oddie, Julia Sawalha, Jeremy Clarkson, Gurinder Chadha and Nigella Lawson.

In 2008, ARD's Das Erste aired the German version, called Das Geheimnis meiner Familie ("The secret of my family"). They aired four episodes featuring Marie-Luise Marjan, Armin Rohde, Christine Neubauer and Peter Maffay.

Ireland's national broadcaster RTÉ has aired three series of Irish version of Who Do You Think You Are? in autumn 2008, 2009; and, after a considerable gap, 2018. The Irish version has included internationally recognised names such as Ardal O'Hanlon, Dana, Rosanna Davison, and Diarmuid Gavin.[34][35]

Sveriges Television, the Swedish public service broadcaster, aired a Swedish version called Vem tror du att du är? in 2009. Later that year, in May and June, they also aired the BBC episodes featuring Stephen Fry, Jeremy Irons, Nigella Lawson, John Hurt and Jane Horrocks.

Also on 31 May 2009, South African station SABC2 premiered its version, split into two parts, featuring local personalities.[36]

An American adaptation of the programme premiered on 5 March 2010 on NBC. In Britain, this began airing on BBC One on Sunday 13 June 2010.

In 2010, the Dutch version called Verborgen Verleden [nl] ("Hidden Past") of the programme started. Thus far, ten series have been produced between 2010 and 2018. From 2005 to 2008, four series of the programme Verre Verwanten ("Distant Relatives") were shown on Dutch television.

In September 2010, the Danish TV station Danmarks Radio aired the first episode of the Danish version, called Ved du hvem du er?.

On 1 September 2010, France 2 aired two episodes of the French version, Retour aux Sources, featuring Vincent Pérez and Clémentine Célarié [37] Since then, four other shows have been filmed and aired, starring François Berléand, Sonia Rolland, Barbara Schulz and Franck Dubosc[38]

In January 2011, the Norwegian TV station NRK started to air the Norwegian version, called Hvem tror du at du er?

Starting on 9 January 2012, Finland's national public-broadcasting company, YLE, aired 15 episodes of the Finnish version, called Kuka oikein olet?, in which local public figures searched for their origins.[39]

A furthering of the concept was developed for American public broadcast TV, called Finding Your Roots, with Henry Louis Gates. This series adds DNA profiling to the format; including Y-chromosome DNA, mitochondrial DNA and autosomal DNA analyses to infer both ancient and recent genetic relationships. The series started airing on 25 March 2012.[citation needed]

In January 2013, Czech broadcaster ČT started broadcasting their version of the programme, called Tajemství rodu ("The secret of the lineage").[40]

Starting 15 January 2013, RTP1 broadcast a Portuguese version called Quem É que Tu Pensas Que És? ("Who Do You Think You Are?") at the 10:30 pm timeslot. The first season featured such names as the comedian Herman José, the actresses Maria do Céu Guerra and Maria João Abreu, the musician Zé Pedro from the Xutos & Pontapés rock band and the fadista Camané.[citation needed]

International versions[edit]

Country Local Name Network Air Dates
 Australia Who Do You Think You Are? SBS One January 2008 – present
Who Do You Think You Are? CBC Television 11 October 2007 – 31 January 2008
Qui êtes-vous? (Who Are You?) ICI Radio-Canada Télé 8 November 2013
 Czech Republic Tajemství rodu (The Secret of the Family) ČT1 9 January 2013
 Denmark Ved du hvem du er? (Do You Know Who You Are?) DR1 15 September 2010 – 17 March 2012
 Finland Kuka oikein olet? (Who Are You?) Yle TV1 9 January 2012
 France Retour aux Sources (Back to Basics) France 2 1 September 2010
 Germany Das Geheimnis meiner Familie (The Secret of My Family) Das Erste 31 March 2008 –
 Ireland Who Do You Think You Are? RTÉ One 15 September 2008 – 19 October 2009; 6 September 2018 – Present
 Israel מי אתה חושב שאתה? (Mi Ata Hoshev She'ata) Channel 1 4 February 2010
 Netherlands Verborgen verleden [nl] (Hidden Past) Nederland 2 29 September 2010 – present
 Norway Hvem tror du at du er? NRK1 January 2011 – present
 Poland Sekrety rodzinne (Family Secrets) TVP1 November 2006 – March 2007
 Portugal Quem É que Tu Pensas Que És? RTP1 15 January 2013
 Russia Моя родословная (My Family Tree) Channel One Russia 1 July 2009 – 12 February 2011
 South Africa Who Do You Think You Are? SABC2 31 May 2009
 Sweden Vem tror du att du är? SVT1 Spring 2009
 United States Who Do You Think You Are? NBC (2010–12)
TLC (2013–present)
5 March 2010 – present

Similar programmes[edit]

BBC Cymru Wales has a similar series called Coming Home, made by Yellow Duck Productions, which features celebrities with a Welsh background.[41][42] In 2007 Wall to Wall Media developed You Don't Know You're Born for ITV1. The series saw various celebrities taking on their ancestors' jobs. UKTV broadcast My Famous Family in 2007.

A short parody sketch of the programme featured in the first series of the Armstrong and Miller Show in which Alexander Armstrong plays a fictionalised version of himself, discovering that his paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother were a child molester and a brothel-owner, respectively.[43]


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  35. ^ About The Show {Series 2} Archived 3 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine Who Do You Think You Are? RTÉ
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  42. ^ "Coming Home Coming Soon". Mid Wales. BBC Wales. 28 January 2008.
  43. ^ YouTube Armstrong and Miller - Who Do You Think You Are Spoof Published on 18 Nov 2007 accessed 15 July 2017


External links[edit]