Total Episodes: 161
Networks: BBC One , BBC Two
Status: Returning Series
First Air Date: Oct 12, 2004
Recent Air Date: Jun 23, 2022
Run Time: m
In Production: Yes
Original Language: English
Age Rating: NR
Production Companies: Wall to Wall
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14 August 2008 - Patsy Kensit
Patsy's late father was a villain. Jimmy Kensit was deeply involved with the most notorious gangsters of 1960s London: the Krays and the Richardsons. Reggie Kray was even godfather to Patsy's brother. Apprehensively, Patsy embarked on an investigation into her father's murky past, to understand the roots of his criminality and to discover how far back 'the family trade' goes. Patsy met up with a criminologist who had unearthed a copy of her father’s criminal record, revealing the true extent of his crimes. She was then shocked to uncover documents in the National Archives that show her grandfather was also a prolific criminal. After more research, Patsy was at last relieved to discover that her great-grandfather, though impoverished, was an honest walking stick maker. Tracing her roots even further back, an amazing document in Goldsmith's Hall revealed how the Kensit family, once affluent artisans, first fell into terrible poverty. Ultimately Patsy made the emotional discovery that rather than descending from a long line of villains, one of her ancestors was a remarkable vicar who dedicated his life to helping the poor.
21 August 2008 - Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson knew a certain amount about his diverse family background, but was intrigued by several family stories and mysteries. He was particularly keen to investigate stories associated with the relatives of his paternal grandparents. Boris's grandfather, Wilfred Johnson, had never spoken about the murder of his Turkish father in the 1920s. Boris’s grandmother Irene Johnson (née Williams), known as 'Granny Butter', had always been the subject of derision in the family due to her grandiose claims of an aristocratic French background. So Boris set out on an international journey of discovery to separate fact from fiction.
28 August 2008 - Jerry Springer
Jerry knows that if his parents had not fled Germany before the start of the Second World War he would almost certainly not be alive today. As Jewish refugees, they settled in London before moving to the United States. Tragically, Jerry’s grandmothers were not so lucky. Unable to escape from the Nazis, both died in the Holocaust. Jerry sets out on an emotional journey to discover what happened to them. How far back can he trace the Springer family in Germany and did any of them survive the war?
03 September 2008 - Esther Rantzen
If Esther's family is as genteel and respectable as she's always believed, where do the rumours of bigamy, fraud and murder come from? Stories of a 'black sheep' have always intrigued her, as have the origins of the Rantzen side of the family. Her search for answers takes her from the slums of Spitalfields in London to the diamond mines of South Africa. Along the way she discovers the amazing story of a fugitive from justice.
10 September 2008 - Ainsley Harriott
Ainsley Harriott heads to the West Indies and discovers that Caribbean history isn't quite as 'black and white' as he'd imagined. In addition to harrowing stories of slavery, Ainsley discovers his ancestors include a soldier, a policemen, wealthy 'free blacks' and even white plantation owners.
17 September 2008 - David Suchet
Confusion reigns in David Suchet's family history. Was his father's father German, Russian or Estonian? Was his name Suchedowitz, Suchet or Shoket? David’s mother's family is equally confusing. Was her grandfather really a French photographer? And why did another ancestor's ship sink off Norfolk? David travels across Europe hoping to find some answers.
24 September 2008 - Jodie Kidd
Jodie has often wondered why none of her family ever talked about her mother's grandfather, Sir Rowland Hodge. Although she grew up with many stories about her other great-grandfather Lord Beaverbrook, Sir Rowland's past remains a mystery. Investigations in Newcastle and London soon reveal why, as Jodie uncovers a tale of scandal and political corruption. An exploration of Beaverbrook's ancestors takes her across the Atlantic to Colonial America and a connection to some of the first Puritan settlers.
01 October 2008 - Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
"Most people assume that I'm from a long line of gothic, castle-dwelling Welsh gentry", says Laurence, "but I don't think I am". However, an old family letter hints that some of these assumptions may in fact be correct. Following a tantalising clue left by great-aunt Kitty, Laurence sets out to investigate. Is there a long lost family estate and fortune somewhere in Somerset? Could Laurence really be a member of the landed gentry?