Posted by on 5 August 2011 in Record Collections

If like me you’ve been hooked on family history as a result of the BBC’s fantastic Who Do You Think You Are? series, you’ll be delighted to know that series eight starts on Wednesday 10th August at 9pm. I can’t quite believe we’re in series eight already, but like previous years, this year’s line-up looks like we’re in for some real celeb treats.

EastEnders icon June Brown kicks off the first episode and among the other celebs we’ll see JK Rowling, Sebastian Coe and Larry Lamb. To make sure you keep up to date with all of the Who Do You Think You Are? buzz we’ll be bringing you blog posts following each episode. Don’t forget to checkout our Facebook fan page and Twitter page to join the debate on what the celebs uncover.

If you’re interested in reminiscing over the 2010 series, you can check out our dedicated page with all of last year’s highlights. With rain predicted this weekend I’m planning on watching some of my favourite episodes; Jeremy Clarkson (series one), Stephen Fry (series two), Kim Cattrall (series six) and my all-time favourite Rupert Penry-Jones (series seven).

What are your favourite Who Do You Think You Are episodes?



Chris Moyles – just because my Mother and Grandmother worked in Jacobs in Dublin – we did visit the National Archives there last year but never successfully got info as to whether we could access old staff records 🙁

5 August 2011 at 1:27 pm
Gerald Peskett 

So far I’d have to say Kate Humble’s story was the most interesting. She was so genuine, and excited about each and every piece of information she found about her family. I thoroughly enjoy her story.

5 August 2011 at 6:32 pm
Rebecca whitehouse 

The Boris Johnson episode was my favourite, I loved it how he was related to all of the royal families of Europe, and his nan sold the famous royal silver!!

5 August 2011 at 6:34 pm
Jock Barnes-Wilson 

I loved the Bruce Forsyth episode especially as I worked in his house for his first wife Penny.
Loved the finding out about his grandfather having two family,s one here and one in America,Life is never quite what you think it is.

5 August 2011 at 6:53 pm
Peter Walsh 

It does not matter whom it is yet I find this very interesting programme! Loved the secret surprises that’s waiting to be discovered!

5 August 2011 at 6:57 pm
Dudley J Tucker 

Dear Boris is always good entertainment and it was no surprise to find he was directly decended from the House of Hanover; however, I was just as fascinated by Alexander Armstrong’s lineage, which was equally blue blooded.

5 August 2011 at 7:25 pm
Guy Beckingham 

Alistair MacGowan finding generation after generation lived in India was perhaps the biggest surprise.

5 August 2011 at 7:45 pm
Caro Bates 

I think the Kim Cattrall one was one of the best (and I have never seen Sex in the City so not a fan) – the sense of loss still haunted her mother and aunts after decades and when she reported to them the truth about their feckless father, it was truly cathartic for them. Matthew Pinsent’s family tree tracing ancestry via royalty to God was also a classic moment! From a personal viewpoint I was interested in Rupert Everitt’s story because I too had a family member who grew up in the Home for Little Boys in South Darenth in Kent, although my attempts to trace his records have not been been successful. Clearly the BBC have more clout!

5 August 2011 at 8:02 pm

Love them all but Kim Cattrall’s one is my absolute favourite, followed closely by Patsy Kensit’s episode.

5 August 2011 at 8:09 pm

Jeremy Paxman reduced to tears when he found how incredibly hard his great grandmother had found bringing up the family in Glasgow. There have been others also brought up short by the loss of successive children in poverty stricken families: and explanation of the effect of syphilis on families.
And OH how I wish someone would magic the relevant documents in front of me too!

5 August 2011 at 8:48 pm
Miriam Bolwell Foerster 

That was interesting to me but we don’t see yours here in America. We’ve just had a limited one. Hopefully we’ll have more. My Father was born in Devizes and my Mother was Irish. We all wish to get the History of our family.

5 August 2011 at 8:56 pm
Jane Townsend 

I’ve had so much enjoyment out of all the episodes, especially the Australian series as I live in New Zealand. But…. we always seem to be several series behind the UK & they appear erratically on several different channels.

6 August 2011 at 12:40 am

All of these shows are enthralling and so very touching for the viewer, as mere vicarious bystander. But they are obviously terribly moving for the Subject of each episode. I can’t recall a single unraveling-story when the Subject was not moved to tears.

We have never met most of our Ancestors – and mostly they never met us – yet the frequently sad/tragic circumstances of their lives has the capacity to draw the empathy and see the pathos in all human life. Good, Bad or Indifferent, “Who Do You Think You Are” makes us realise that we, foolish, artless humanity, are ALL the same.

6 August 2011 at 1:13 am
diana mitchel 

I thought Kevin Wakeney (inspector lewis) was the most amazing. He was staggered to find out just what his ancestors did.
sara jessica parker was brilliant
brooke shields being related to the royal heads of europe through the french throne was like a fairy story.
keep them coming.
oh yes and chris moyles, didnt know who he was, but met his parents at a 21st birthday party just befor it was on the box

6 August 2011 at 7:58 am
Brenda Jones 

All episodes have been of great interest.
It would be great if we could have a few extended episodes where both parents families of the celebrity are traced further generations back instead of only one side as normally happens.

6 August 2011 at 9:58 am
Sue Kay 

Love them all but was most interested in Laurence Llewelyn Bowen,as though not mentioned in the programme, thanks to being contacted by reseachers I find we are distantly related via the Bowen family.

6 August 2011 at 11:48 am
ann newby 

I am as hooked as many other’s but what angers me is even though some of the best IT technology comes from the USA the UK is unable to see most of the USA programmes on line – well I can’t anyway!

6 August 2011 at 12:22 pm
Ann Ashburner 

I love the whole program can’t wait for it to start again next week I wish the program was longer so as we could see both sides of the family. I also have watched the American episodes that have been on television.

6 August 2011 at 12:44 pm
Joyce Paterson 

Favourite episode was Jodie Kidd. Just amazing to watch how both sides of her family trees discovered fascinating characters, reaching both sides of the Atlantic and back again!! Have watched it 3 times already! The Who Do You Think Series is just about the best series on TV and great it has gone to the US too. Agree with others that it could/should now stretch trees on both sides and make the episodes a bit longer this would result in “gripping” us viewers a bit more and encourage us to keep going with our investigations. This is one TV series which will never cease to enthrall and keep the viewers.

7 August 2011 at 9:54 am
Joyce Roberts 

I really enjoyed watching Kate Humble’s ‘who do you think you are’

Her story was absolutely fascinating, yet she was so humble about it, as her name sugggests!

I’m really looking forward to more in this coming series.


7 August 2011 at 1:02 pm

I’d love to the the british version in the U.S. I have family from the UK and most of my research is from there
Plus it would be really great if they took an average person not a celebrtiy and helped them track there family I’d be facinated.

7 August 2011 at 8:55 pm

It would be really great if they took an average person not a celebrtiy and helped them track there family I’d be facinated.

7 August 2011 at 8:56 pm
Wendy Law 

As a New Zealander living in Australia, we are lucky enough to view both English and American “Who Do You Think You Are”. The episodes are absolutely brilliant and I am so looking forward to a new series. Can’t give a favourite … they are all fantastic and informative. I do agree with Karyn asking for an average person having their family tree tracked – my hand is up for that one please being ready, willing and able!!!!

8 August 2011 at 2:43 am
Chris R 

In response to karyn, why not hold a competition? Get people to submit either their most interesting ancestor, or their most baffling puzzle. The BBC researchers then select 10 or so that they think they can research further or that are the most interesting, and the public vote on them. The best three then go forward to a special programme to be shown during BBC Children in Need, with all profits from the phone vote going to the same charity.


8 August 2011 at 11:59 am
Kenneth Naylor 

I used to think that I had no family connections outside of Bradford and a mining village in Durham but then I struck lucky mostly from an obscure Co. Durham mining connection, other very helpful family researchers piled in and suddenly I found connections in Ireland,NZ.Australia,the USA and Canada not to mention London.There is so much to now work on including William The Conqueror (or one of his Knights anyway and connections to the Civil War) and all thanks to records and internet access – if only I had more time and expertise!.

8 August 2011 at 3:16 pm
Sally Sargeant 

Not only time and expertise but also cash, I’d love to be able to pop along to all the places I have discovered, stay a few nights sit and study old records and return home ready to pack for the next adventure to who knows where. Sending for Birth death and marriage certs can run up as very costly when your excitement grows and your eager to find out more. Its a great hobby, I’m totally hooked and I could spend a fortune if I had a fortune to spend. Still I shall look forward to seeing the next series of “who do you think youe are” Kate Humble’s was the best for me as my grandfather was killed in the Senghenydd mine disaster (the biggest ever) it will be 100 years in 2013.

9 August 2011 at 9:48 am
Larraine Ledwidge 

I just love them all and have watched some of twice.I am following my family history,weather finding out a new branch of family or things you didn’t know about is all exciting.I somewhere in our lineage we have a famous gunsmith,a music hall male impersonator and stonemasons going back generations.there is also soposed to be a diver who dived off the Great Orme(have to yet confirm this)and I am still looking for the black sheep of the family.good hunting to all those looking for there past.

9 August 2011 at 10:47 am

without doubt Sue Johnsons episode was my favourite. How her discoveries changed the way she saw her ancestors was absolutely beautiful.

9 August 2011 at 9:56 pm
Mary Phillips 

Boris Johnson and Jodie Kidd, without a doubt – both of them had that dream-come-true element we’d all love to experience. Boris’s ancestry was sheer glamour (can’t you just see the Hanover looks?) and Jodie’s enviably ancient line, going so far afield and then all the way back home again, was stunning.

10 August 2011 at 7:48 pm
Suzanne Rogers 

Since Who Do You Think You Are isn’t broadcast in the US, will it be possible for us to see the programs on the internet after they’ve been broadcast in the IK?

12 August 2011 at 12:21 am