Who Do You Think You Are?

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Sheridan Smith

Series 11 - Episode 5 Sheridan Smith



Actress Sheridan Smith is convinced her family has musical bones. Her mum and dad still sing country music in their local workingmen’s club in north Lincolnshire where Sheridan often joined them on stage as a youngster. And she also remembers her grandmother’s remarkable piano-playing skills. But it’s a photograph of her great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Doubleday, playing a banjo that confirms her suspicion.

For a while it looks as though this edition of WDYTYA is not going to travel down the well-trodden path of workhouse misery and instead give us a glimpse of the relatively glamorous world of Victorian musical halls. But although Benjamin was a respected musician, showbusiness is a fickle profession and, like so many of the celebrities’ ancestors featured in this series, he had some tough times. Tough enough to reduce Sheridan to tears.


Actress Sheridan Smith, who went from singing with her parents in the working men's clubs near their North Lincolnshire home to successful stage performances in Little Shop of Horrors and Legally Blonde - not to mention her countless TV appearances - embarks on a journey to find out where her family's musical talents come from. She is soon hot on the trail of her great-great-grandfather Benjamin Doubleday, a world-class banjo player and musical impresario - but she is surprised by his change in fortunes.

Cast & Crew

Contributor Sheridan Smith
Director Sarah Feltes
Series Producer Kathryn Taylor