Who Do You Think You Are?
The current series of WDYTYA? concludes this month with a trio of episodes, each of which takes its subjects on very different kinds of journeys. First up in October, TV presenter – and, lately, Strictly Come Dancing contestant – Anita Rani wants to learn more about her maternal grandfather, Sant Singh.
Although she never met him, Anita has been told Sant suffered a tragedy at the time of India’s Partition in 1947, when the country and Pakistan split into two nations. In addition, her mother says Sant had another wife and family before he married Anita’s grandmother. What happened in the past? To learn more, Anita heads for India, where she makes some harrowing discoveries.
Frank Gardner’s late mother often claimed the family arrived in Britain with the Normans. Is there any truth in the story? Setting out to learn more, the BBC’s security correspondent first goes back in time to meet his 10x great grandfather, Sir Michael Stanhope. During the brief reign of Henry VIII’s son, the boy king Edward VI, Sir Michael was a hugely influential figure within the royal entourage. However, he spectacularly fell from grace. How did it all go so wrong for Sir Michael?
Finally, on Thursday 22 October, Mark Gatiss, comedian, actor and co-creator of The League Of Gentlemen and Sherlock wants to know where his love of ghoulish tales comes from.
One answer, it seems, might be forebears on his mother’s side of the family. Going back five generations to the wilds of Northern Ireland, Mark hears about a rags-to-riches story. He also discovers that his family were storytellers and, it’s said, vampire slayers – which sounds like a great idea for a TV series in itself. Jonathan Wright
Anita Rani delves into her family’s harrowing past in her episode of