Who Do You Think You Are?

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Olivia Colman

Series 15 - Episode 2 Olivia Colman



One of the minor joys of this series is meeting the celebrity-subjects’ families, usually in a kitchen. If you ever wondered what Olivia Colman’s mum and dad (and let’s not forget family historian Uncle Richard) are like, you’ll find out they are as sweet-natured and charming as she is. Nice kitchen, too.

Colman visits the family home in Norfolk to see if anyone has any clues about ancestry. There’s a mention of a mysterious “Frenchwoman”, but Colman’s eventual search takes her to some surprising places.

She’s blessed with a remarkably extensive paper-trail – one of the most detailed I can remember – that includes a transfixing, touching letter revealing a burgeoning romance, and even a book.

Colman travels to India in the hunt for her great-great-great-grandmother to trace a story of misfortune, kindness and love. “I definitely feel more exotic,” she exclaims at the end.


Olivia Colman finds some surprises in her ancestral history, and her belief that most of those in her family tree emanate from Norfolk turns out to be far from the truth. Olivia is astonished to discover that she needs to travel to India to find out more about her great-great-great grandmother Harriot, who was an orphan in 1811 on a ship bound for England from Calcutta. Harriot's father was an an Englishman, but the identity of her mother, who gave birth to her in a remote Indian village, is a mystery Olivia delights in solving.

Cast & Crew

Contributor Olivia Colman
Director Mary Cranitch
Executive Producer Colette Flight
Series Producer Sarah Feltes