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Who Do You Think You Are? returns to our screens

Another rollercoaster ride of inspiring stories for family historians...


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Who Do You Think You Are? will return to BBC One for a brand new series in the late summer after the Olympics. The ten episodes are likely to be another rollercoaster ride of inspiring stories for family historians to watch as the chosen celebrities take a fascinating trip into their ancestor's past. Here is this year's line up:

Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen, CH, CBE is a well loved English actor. He is the recipient of six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and many more accolades. Ian Murray McKellen was born on 25 May 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, the son of Margery Lois (née Sutcliffe) and Denis Murray McKellen, a civil engineer of Protestant Irish and Scottish descent . Ian has an elder sister, Jean, who is five years his senior. In September 1939, the McKellen family moved from Burnley to Wigan, where they lived throughout the war and Sir Ian's early childhood. In 1951 they then relocated to Bolton following his father's promotion but when he was only 12 his mother died; his father was to pass on when McKellen was 24.

Amanda Holden

Actress and television star Amanda Holden, who has regularly appeared as a judge on Britain's Got Talent since its launch in 2007, is one of the celebrities whose ancestors are traced in this year's Who Do You Think You Are? Series that sees Amanda Holden's investigation reveal an extraordinary Napoleonic-era cross-channel romance and the forgotten tragedy of Britain's worst ever maritime disaster. Amanda made her first appearance on TV on Blind Date where she wasn't picked by the contestant. Amanda went on to star in Wild at Heart and also was a presenter on This Morning and The Door. Amanda was nominated for an Olivier award and has appeared in many TV dramas and comedies. Amanda came into this world on the 16 February 1971 in Portsmouth, though she spent much of her childhood growing up in the Hampshire town of Bishop's Waltham.

Sophie Raworth

Sophie Jane Raworth who was born on the 15 May 1968, in Redhill Surrey, is an English journalist and broadcaster. She works for the BBC as a newsreader, anchoring various BBC News programmes and fronting several topical programmes such as William and Kate: a Royal Engagement in 2010 to The Queen's Longest Reign: Elizabeth & Victoria. Since 2014, she has been the co-presenter of the BBC's coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show and also fronts Crimewatch. Sophie was brought up in Twickenham and then went on to the University of Manchester to take a degree in French and German. After a year teaching English to teenagers in Toulouse she then went on to study for a postgraduate course in broadcasting and journalism at City University London.

Greg Davies

Born in Wales to a Welsh Father and English mother he was brought up in Shropshire. Easily recognisable for his great comedic talent, as well as his size - he is a large man at 6ft 8in with size 14 feet. Greg Davies was, for 13 years, a drama teacher before quitting in 2002 to become a stand-up comedian. Greg has notched up several sell-out tours and popular sitcoms he is best known for his roles as Greg in We Are Klang, Mr Phil Gilbert in The Inbetweeners and Ken Thompson in Cuckoo, as well as for his guest appearances in Mock the Week, Would I Lie to You? and Fast and Loose. He has performed on the BBC's Live at the Apollo series.

Ricky Tomlinson

Eric Tomlinson, known by his stage name Ricky Tomlinson, is an English actor, comedian, author and activist best known for his roles as Bobby Grant in Brookside, DCI Charlie Wise in Cracker and Jim Royle in The Royle Family. Born 26 September 1939 in Bispham, Blackpool, Lancashire, Ricky has lived in Liverpool nearly all his life. His father was a baker and he was born in Bispham because his mother, Peggy, was evacuated there due to the Liverpool Blitz in World War II. A qualified plasterer by trade, he worked on various building sites for many years becoming actively involved in far-right politics and then his political views shifted strongly to the left in the early 1970s. In 1972 he joined the flying pickets in a building workers' dispute in Shrewsbury and as a result in 1973, Tomlinson was sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of "conspiracy to intimidate" as one of the so-called Shrewsbury Two.

Liz Bonnin

Bang Goes the Theory and Stargazing Live presenter Liz Bonnin was born in France to a French dentist and a Trinidadian mother of Indian Portuguese descent. At the age of 9 the family moved to Ireland and she became passionate about science and animals. With a Bsc in biochemistry from Trinity College Dublin, she has a master's degree in Wild Animal Biology from the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Veterinary College for which she tracked tigers in Nepal. Liz Bonnin is also known for one time being a member of the girl band Chill and her television presenting on both Irish and British television.

Cheryl

Cheryl was born in Newcastle upon Tyne growing up on council estates in the neighbouring districts of Walker and Heaton. The fourth of her mother's five children, Cheryl is the eldest of Joan Callaghan's two children with Garry Tweedy after the collapse of her marriage to the father of her three other children. The 33 year old Cheryl Ann Fernandez-Versini is known for being a singer, dancer, and television personality. She rose to fame in late 2002 as a member of girl group Girls Aloud on ITV's Popstars: The Rivals, and stayed with the group until they split up in 2013. Cheryl began a successful solo career in 2009 and has also been an X Factor judge, off and on, since 2008. In Cheryl's Who Do You Think You Are? story she discovers more about her long and forgotten great grandfather - a Tommy in the First World War.

Warwick Davis

The son of an insurance broker and his wife, Warwick Davis was born in Epsom Surrey in 1970. He is an actor, presenter, writer, producer and director having played the title characters in Willow and the Leprechaun film series, the Ewok Wicket in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and Professor Filius Flitwick and Griphook in the Harry Potter films. Davis also starred as a parody version of himself in the sitcom Life's Too Short, written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

Sunetra Sarker

Sunetra Sarker was born in Liverpool on 25 June 1973 into a Hindu family. As an actress she is best known for her roles in Brookside, No Angels and in Casualty in which she acted for over 8 years in the role of consultant Zoe Hanna. Sunetra's father is a retired doctor and her mother Bisakha taught Indian classical dance for which she was awarded an MBE in December 2013. Sunetra herself has appeared in the 2014 series of Strictly Come Dancing and earlier, in 2007, Sarker had been a contestant on the celebrity cooking series Celebrity MasterChef. The actress has a degree in Information Systems for Business in Europe from Brunel University London.

Danny Dyer

Daniel "Danny" Dyer is an English actor, currently cast in EastEnders, he has starred in several films including The Football Factory and Vendetta. He has also been seen on the stage – most notably in two Pinter plays and as Sid Vicious in Kurt and Sid. A former chairman of Greenwich Borough, a non-League football team he was born in Canning Town in 1977. Danny Dyer's remarkable Who Do You Think You Are? journey will trace his family from poverty and crime in the East End back through the centuries to an incredible connection to royalty.


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New Diamond Package Offer!

We'd like to offer you our new 4 monthly Diamond subscription for our introductory price of only £39.95 (saving a third off the standard price of £59.95). This is the lowest cost Diamond subscription we've ever had!

12 Month subcription to Discover Your Ancestors Online MagazineAlong with providing access to Census, BMDs, Non-Conformist Records, Wills and more, the Diamond subscription gives you access to record collections that make it easy to find so much more about your ancestors.

You'll also enjoy a free 12 month subscription to Discover Your Ancestors online magazine worth £24.95, saving you a total of £44.95!

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