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Who Do You Think You Are?

  • Season 18
  • 7 episodes
  • History
  • Documentary and factual

Summary

Celebrities including Josh Widdicombe trace their ancestry.

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Episode 2: Dame Judi Dench

Summary

Star of stage and screen Judi Dench sets out to research her ancestry, beginning with her father Reginald Dench. He never spoke of his experiences during the First World War, so she tries to find out how he won his gallantry medals. Judi's investigations then take a truly epic turn, leading her to 16th-century Denmark and nobility. The actress also discovers, to her delight, some remarkable Shakespearean links

Review

If you read our interview with her last week, you may think there can’t be much more to find out about Judi Dench’s family tree exploration. However, she uncovers a lot more detail about her ancestors – even recent ones such as her father Reginald. He was decorated for gallantry during the First World War but what’s extraordinary is that, in a way, his knee injury saved his life several times during the fighting. 
Her reactions to the revelations, while obviously genuine, can be delightfully theatrical. Discovering that there’s a Danish connection way back on her mother’s side, she pauses to digest the news and then says indignantly, “Well, they [her family] kept that very quiet!” However, the astounding links to Shakespeare – and there are several – bring tears to her eyes.
She listens intently to the archivists’ descriptions and is clearly moved by what she hears, but that slightly wicked sense of humour is always bubbling away under the surface. 

How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming provider below.

Streaming

Details

Languages
Formats
Colour

Credits

Crew

rolename
PresenterJudi Dench
NarratorPhil Davis
Executive producerColette Flight
Series editorSarah Feltes
DirectorHarvey Lilley
ProducerAmy Bracken

All episodes

  • Summary

    Star of stage and screen Judi Dench sets out to research her ancestry, beginning with her father Reginald Dench. He never spoke of his experiences during the First World War, so she tries to find out how he won his gallantry medals. Judi's investigations then take a truly epic turn, leading her to 16th-century Denmark and nobility. The actress also discovers, to her delight, some remarkable Shakespearean links

    Review

    If you read our interview with her last week, you may think there can’t be much more to find out about Judi Dench’s family tree exploration. However, she uncovers a lot more detail about her ancestors – even recent ones such as her father Reginald. He was decorated for gallantry during the First World War but what’s extraordinary is that, in a way, his knee injury saved his life several times during the fighting. 
    Her reactions to the revelations, while obviously genuine, can be delightfully theatrical. Discovering that there’s a Danish connection way back on her mother’s side, she pauses to digest the news and then says indignantly, “Well, they [her family] kept that very quiet!” However, the astounding links to Shakespeare – and there are several – bring tears to her eyes.
    She listens intently to the archivists’ descriptions and is clearly moved by what she hears, but that slightly wicked sense of humour is always bubbling away under the surface. 

    How to watch

    Next showing

    There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming provider below.

    Streaming

    Details

    Languages
    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Crew

    rolename
    PresenterJudi Dench
    NarratorPhil Davis
    Executive producerColette Flight
    Series editorSarah Feltes
    DirectorHarvey Lilley
    ProducerAmy Bracken

How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show. But it is available via the streaming provider below.

Streaming

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