Broadchurch and Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker will face “some fraught family history” when Who Do You Think You Are? returns to BBC One with a four-part series in October.
Joining Whittaker in the new series will be children’s author and Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams, Gavin & Stacey co-creator Ruth Jones and Silent Witness star Liz Carr.
Broadchurch star Jodie Whittaker learns the poignant reality behind a family myth surrounding her great uncle’s sacrifice in World War One, while unearthing some uncomfortable truths about her great-great grandfather in Yorkshire.
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.”
Walliams discovers a great-great grandfather who, after becoming blind, forged a career as a travelling entertainer, as well as a more tragic story surrounding his paternal great grandfather’s experiences following World War One.
Walliams said: “I’m delighted to have taken part in the series. I started off the journey knowing very little about my ancestry. In making the programme I found out lots of family history I would never would have learned of. I was pleased to discover that being an entertainer runs in the family.”
Silent Witness actor Carr said: “I’ve watched Who Do You Think You Are? over the years so to be selected to have the show research my family history has been a wonderfully surreal experience. An armchair genealogist, my mum has dragged us around graveyards in search of our ancestors but to no avail so I’m hoping this will now all stop (probably not – knowing my mum!).”
Carr continued: “Before doing Who Do You Think You Are? all I really knew about my ancestors was that they had died but now I know that they lived and how they lived. I like knowing that, I like knowing who they were and I feel very proud to be related to them.”
Gavin and Stacey star and co-creator Ruth Jones learns that her paternal grandfather was a key player in the precursor to the NHS, the Medical Aid Societies of South Wales, while also discovering a long line of globe-trotting mariners on her mother’s side.
Who Do You Think You Are? returns to BBC One this October.