Who Do You Think You Are?

Mark Gatiss

Series 12 - Episode 9 Mark Gatiss



Mark Gatiss, actor and Sherlock re-imaginer tells us: “My whole career is a long revenge against PE… Children who are not necessarily sporty should take a bit of heart.”

Gatiss identifies himself strongly as a “storyteller” – he spent those hated PE lessons talking about his adored horror stories with his best friend – and soon has romantic notions about his late mum Winnie’s Irish ancestors. “I’d like to [find out] I’m King of Ireland, though I’ll be quite gracious if I’m not.”

He heads to Belfast on the trail of his great-grandfather (times three), George, who was a tenant farmer and also an agent for his English landlords. To Gatiss’s unalloyed delight, he hears a vampire tale along the way. And there’s a little bonus for Sherlock fans, who will enjoy on-set snippets of behind-the-scenes filming for the new series in Bath.


Actor and writer Mark Gatiss has always had a love of storytelling, especially for the ghastly and the ghoulish, but has always wondered where it comes from. Setting out to research his ancestry, he is intrigued to discover that his mother's side of the family goes back five generations to the wilds of Northern Ireland. Travelling over there, he untangles a tale of rags-to-riches and learns that sure enough, his family were indeed story-tellers - but fascinatingly, they were also said to be vampire-slayers.

Cast & Crew

Contributor Mark Gatiss
Director Sarah Feltes
Series Producer Kathryn Taylor