Who Do You Think You Are?
BBC ONE, 9.00PM
This week’s edition of the genealogy show initially threatens to be one of those pleasant enough hours with no real surprises. The subject is TV presenter Emma Willis, a proud Birmingham girl and the product of a close-knit, working-class background who explains that she has come from “a kind family” and hopes previous generations will turn out to have been similar.
Initially it seems as though those dreams will come true with an interesting but hardly ground-breaking trawl through generations of hard-working Brummie grafters who lurched from prosperity to the workhouse and back again, but appear to have stuck together through good times and bad. “When I look at that picture I think of Peaky Blinders,” Willis says early on about a family snapshot, but the reality is less criminal and more enterprise. Things take a more interesting, and altogether darker turn, however, once she heads across the sea to Ireland for a tale of violence, abuse of power and ultimately love, which uncovers a true working-class hero in the process. “We all want to have a nice story, right?” notes the likeable Willis. Her pleasure when she finally finds one is infectious. Sarah Hughes
Going back to her roots: Emma Willis uncovers her family past