Join ten well-known celebrities as they embark on a very personal voyage of discovery into their own family history. Each celeb unearths secrets and surprises along the way and cannot help but be affected by their emotional journey.
It’s not often you get to feel a bit sorry for the big-mouthed Top Gear presenter - but that’s what happens as you see the disappointment on Jeremy Clarkson’s face as he finds out that most of his ancestors had a quiet life in Yorkshire. “I’m the product of 200 years of inbreeding” he booms dejectedly, which may explain the perpetual grumpiness. However, he also learns how one of his forebears in fact invented the famous Kilner jar. After realising this does not make him the rightful heir to a small fortune, Jeremy finally begins to feel a real sense of pride at where he’s come from.
More familiar to us as both a Goodie and the nation's most famous twitcher, Bill Oddie revealed how his complicated and lonely background had actually been the cause of two bouts of clinical depression. An only child brought up by his father and grandmother, Bill finds out that the mother he saw only four times during his life was put into a mental institution during the 50s. After following the family trail back into the flourishing textile industry of his Lancashire roots, Bill at last finds peace of mind having put his background into some form of historical context.
As the star of Sexy Beast and At Home With The Braithwaites, Amanda Redman has acted her way through some large family issues - and her own ancestry turns up some big secrets. While her strict disciplinarian of a grandfather is revealed as a violent drunk, an illegitimate son of her grandmother is also discovered. Further delving into the past uncovers the truth about Amanda's suspected Irish roots via her mariner great-great grandfather who plied the trade roots between Cornwall and Ireland.
The genius of surreal comedy Vic Reeves is better known to friends and family as Jim Moir and we soon find that this is a man with a mysterious past. Having failed to get much information from his mother, Jim digs into the life of his grandfather. The son of a butler, it seems he might have been a bigamist having been neither divorced nor widowed when marrying his second wife! With his love of the countryside, Jim feels more at home with the spirit of another ancestor, Edward Leah, who was the gamekeeper of a large country estate in Yorkshire. His mother's side continues to spring surprises but it's eventually his father's side that the comedian feels most affinity with - not least as both his father and grandfather are also called Jim Moir!
The popular writer, comedian and star of Goodness Gracious Me, Meera Syal had always been obsessed with her ancestry and wondered where her rebellious streak had come from. Her journey takes her back to her parents' homeland in the Punjab in India where she discovers her grandfather was a once a communist journalist who had won a Freedom Fighters award for his part in the struggle for Indian independence. At the end of the trail, Meera visits the remote village where her ancestors had lived and finds the old family home - now operating as a cowshed.