Who Do you think you are?

TV Times - - News - Caren Clark

Thurs­day / BBC1

Strictly’s Craig Revel Hor­wood dis­cov­ers there was a gold-min­ing pi­o­neer among his Es­sex an­ces­tors.‘i could have got a part in TOWIE, dar­ling,’ he says.

Strictly judge Craig revel Hor­wood on trac­ing his roots and his de­light at find­ing an­other dancer in his fam­ily

TV Times is wit­ness­ing some­thing very un­usual – Craig Revel Hor­wood is laugh­ing! The fa­mously stern Strictly Come Danc­ing judge can’t con­tain his glee, dar­ling, af­ter his dis­cov­ery that he is not the only mem­ber of the Revel Hor­wood clan to have tripped the light fan­tas­tic.

In this week’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, Craig, 52, heads back to his na­tive Aus­tralia where he learns that his great-great grand­fa­ther, Harry Mack­lin Shaw, was the cham­pion clog dancer of Aus­trala­sia in the 1870s.

Here, he tells TV Times about his twin­kle-toed an­ces­tor, and how he missed out on a fam­ily for­tune…

Why did you want to take part? Be­cause I knew noth­ing about my fam­ily his­tory. As a pro­fes­sional dancer, what they call a ‘dance gypsy’, you’re con­stantly trav­el­ling around, you don’t have any ties, you feel alone and never re­ally know where you are from. So I wanted to do it be­cause I’ve set­tled down now, and I wanted to find out why I’ve felt at home from the mo­ment I stepped onto Bri­tish soil. I dis­cov­ered that I’m from Es­sex, dar­ling! I was shocked be­cause if I’d known about it be­fore, I could have got a part in TOWIE!

We’d love to see that! What else did you want to find out?

Well, I found a pas­sion for dance

when I was young, but I couldn’t un­der­stand why, be­cause it’s un­usual for a teenage boy from Bal­larat, as Aus­tralia is quite butch. It wasn’t the done thing there to put on bal­let tights and tap dance; it’s like a Billy El­liot story. My pa­ter­nal grand­fa­ther, Revel, who we called Moza, clowned around and my mum, Bev­er­ley, was a hoofer back in the day in an am­a­teur group called The Sun­shine Girls, but I thought I was the only one that re­ally had show­biz blood and

I wanted to know why.

How did you feel when you learned that your great-great grand­fa­ther Harry was a cham­pion clog dancer?

It was won­der­ful! He used to chal­lenge peo­ple to a dance-off and he’d get up and give it a bit of clog work and be­came the cham­pion. Now I feel that it’s in our blood and per­for­mance has run down the gen­er­a­tions. Harry came from the mills in Greater Manch­ester and went to Aus­tralia to find out who he was and find his for­tune, and I’ve done the same in re­verse by com­ing to the UK. I wish I could tell him what I have done.

You had a go at clog danc­ing on the show, was it tricky?

I’ve never clogged be­fore in my life and the shoes were ex­tremely heavy, but I did get into it, and

I’ve kept the clogs. I’ve also got some fake sheep in my gar­den now to pay homage to the fact that Harry worked on a sheep sta­tion in Aus­tralia.

What was it like to find out about your pa­ter­nal great-great-great grand­fa­ther, Charles Tin­worth, who was part of the 19th-cen­tury Aus­tralian gold rush?

The suf­fer­ing the fam­ily went through was heart­break­ing. They came over from Es­sex and mined and panned for gold hop­ing to find the magic nugget that would change their life, but you for­get about the hard­ships there. Their hos­pi­tals were lit­er­ally a tent. But I feel my fam­ily gave me so much through all their hard work and

I’m here to con­tinue that am­bi­tion.

The Tin­worths got rich af­ter dis­cov­er­ing gold, but the money went to the boys in the fam­ily and not your great-grand­mother, Lizzie Tin­worth. Were you up­set? It was dev­as­tat­ing! If the law had been dif­fer­ent dar­ling, old Lizzie would’ve been rich and I could’ve had pools and man­sions! At least there was money in the fam­ily, although I didn’t get any of it.

You al­ready knew that your pa­ter­nal great-great grand­fa­ther Moses Hor­wood was a con­vict, were you ner­vous about what you might dis­cover?

I was worried about what he had done! Was it go­ing to be mur­der? But it turned out he stole some money and jew­els from a ho­tel and he was sent off to Aus­tralia and started a new life in Bal­larat af­ter serv­ing his sen­tence. Later I dis­cov­ered that half the fam­ily were con­victs, but the other half, like Harry and Charles, just went to Aus­tralia for a bet­ter life.

In the show, you visit your 100year-old pa­ter­nal grand­mother Phyl­lis, who you call Phonse.

How amaz­ing is she?

It was great to see her be­cause she is the kind­est, fun­ni­est per­son – she is ab­so­lutely bril­liant. In Fe­bru­ary, when she turned 100, I couldn’t go out there be­cause I was do­ing the Strictly Come Danc­ing live tour, but I recorded the whole au­di­ence in the Manch­ester Arena sing­ing Happy Birth­day to her on my phone, which was fan­tas­tic and she cried, so I felt like I was there.

craig ’s great­grand­par­ents, charles and lizzie craig (far right) with sis­ter sue and grand­par­ents phonse and Moza

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.