JK Rowling: I come from a long line of single mothers

The creator of Harry Potter makes some startling discoveries on Who Do You Think You Are?

“What I’m very struck by is how many single mothers I’m descended from,” says JK Rowling in the new run of celebrity genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?


As a single mother herself – she raised her daughter, Jessie, after her first marriage broke up – the Harry Potter author feels solidarity with the generations of women who came before her. And in an exclusive interview with Radio Times she reveals how she cried three times during the filming of the programme, joking, “I don’t know whether I’ve set a record.”

There are a number of other surprises in store for Rowling when she delves into her family history. Not least is the fact that an heirloom she had always believed to be the prestigious French Légion d’honneur, awarded to her great-grandfather for wartime bravery, is in fact just a medal for his service as a wine waiter.

Was this an innocent mistake or a deliberate deception? There’s a further twist to the story that viewers will have to watch the programme to discover.


Meanwhile, you can read the full interview with JK Rowling, and hear from each of the other celebrity participants in the series, in the latest issue of Radio Times, on sale now.