Who Do You Think You Are?

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Anne Reid

Series 12 - Episode 6 Anne Reid



We’re so used to the celebrities in this series weeping theatrically over the memories of ancestors they’ve never known that it’s a pleasant surprise to see Anne Reid reduced to helpless laughter as she hears about her great-great-grandfather John’s bad behaviour.

“This is hilarious… he was drunk for days!” she whoops, getting increasingly hysterical as she reads reports of how the Scottish school teacher was “riotous” and indulged in disorderly conduct and unbecoming language.

She does say at the start of her investigations that she hopes to be “related to colourful ancestors” but the more she discovers, the angrier she gets about certain parts of John’s remarkable life. She’s so furious about one perceived injustice she admits she wants revenge for him. “It’s mad,” she says in conclusion, “but I’m enormously proud [of being his descendant].”


Actress Anne Reid is keen to find out about her father's family, but only has a couple of clues to go on - the name of a house in Scotland and an old story that his ancestors were ministers in the church. This puts her on the trail of her great-great-grandfather John Reid in Fife, who turns out to have been a teacher and not a minister. However, he also had a less-honest sideline which takes the story in an altogether different direction.

Cast & Crew

Contributor Anne Reid
Director Mary Crisp
Series Producer Kathryn Taylor