Probate research show Heir Hunters arrives on prime-time BBC tv.
For quite some time now, I’ve been addicted to the daytime television series Heir Hunters, which has screened in the UK for several series.
The premise of the show is to use genealogical research methods to uncover the relatives of people who have died intestate (ie without a Will or any known legally recognised family), leading them to making a claim of the deceased’s estate which would otherwise be absorbed by the government.
The show follows a handful of the companies (mainly Fraser & Fraser, and often Celtic Research) that work against the clock to beat rival companies, to work out family trees and connect real people to their legal entitlement.
This often unearths long-lost and incredible stories about the deceased, or brings memories flooding back to living relatives who lost touch, and in several cases, comes as a complete shock to receive notification that the deceased person even existed.
The series has now been given a prime-time 7pm slot over on BBC 2, where it is now given a much longer programme, and this gives it the chance to add a much more educational and genealogical context – with investigations into the society that the deceased lived in.
Actress and the show’s former narrator since 2008, Lisa Faulkner, now takes to the screen as presenter, bringing interesting and educational interviews with experts and even the to-camera pleas for information on individuals who have been languishing on the government Bona Vacantia list.
The current run of episodes essentially contain the stories used in the last series, but with extra footage and interviews edited in. According to the Heir Hunters twitter feed, a brand new series is complete and ready for transmission.
What do you make of the show? Is the new format better? Did you prefer the shorter programme, or the time of day that it was on? Let me know in the comments below!