Julie Walters to open new UK Who Do You Think You Are? TV series

The new series of the UK series of Who Do You Think You Are? is to open with Julie Walters, on BBC One.

Logo from BBC's UK series of Who Do You Think You Are?

The new UK series of Who Do You Think You Are? is almost with us.

Actress and Novelist Julie Walters CBE will be leading this year’s celebrities, as the show celebrates its 10th year in the UK. The BBC One series begins on Thursday 7th August at 9pm.

Other celebrities going under the researcher’s spotlight are: Brian Blessed, Tamzin Outhwaite, Brendan O’Carroll (who has been rumoured since the last series by the Irish Independent), Sheridan Smith, Mary Berry, Martin Shaw, Reggie Yates, Twiggy, and Billy Connolly.

The series will be preceded by a special documentary about the series’ 10 years of genealogy, on 6th August at 10:35pm, that will look back on the outstanding moments from this award-winning series.

If you’re struggling to wait for the series to begin, and you’re in the UK with use of iPlayer, then check out The Secret History of Our Streets for a fascinating look at urban life in the UK.

Sarah Millican voted most popular Who Do You Think You Are? (UK) Series 10 episode

Sarah Millican wins 67% of the ‘favourite Who Do You Think You Are? UK series 10 episode’ vote, but where did the rest of the celebrities rank? Plus, rumours for series 11 in 2014.

A few months back, I ran a poll on this blog, where you could vote for your favourite episode from the 10th Series of the UK version of Who Do You Think You Are?, with voting split between the first and second half of the series.

Having collated all of the votes together, for all 10 celebrity episodes, there is a clear winner.

Comedian, Sarah Millican, won the poll with 67% of the votes.

Her voting surged after she retweeted the link to the poll.

In her episode, she aimed to find out about her family’s history in the South Shields area of the UK, and also to see if she could find something her family could be proud of. Well, Sarah, (if you’re reading), you can be proud of your poll glory too.

Here’s a clip from her episode:

Sarah Millican Who Do You Think You Are? clip

Her nearest rival to this glory came from actor Nitin Ganatra who scored 11%, and in third came actor and singer Minnie Driver with 7%.

If you’re the kind of person who likes pies and charts, you’re in luck:

Best episode of UK Who Do You Think You Are? series 10

Gary Linekar and Nigel Havers languished in joint last place, both with just one vote each. Nick Hewer managed to muster two votes – a score that would surely get him fired.

Who Do You Think You Are? UK Series 11 for 2014?

Whilst I’ve yet to see confirmation that the 11th series of Who Do You Think You Are? is coming this year, it was reported by the Irish Independent in November, that comedian and writer Brendan O’Carroll – who is most famous for playing Agnes Brown in ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ – has filmed his episode.

Photograph: Alan Peebles/BBC
Brendan O’Carrol as Agnes Brown in ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’. Photograph: Alan Peebles/BBC

VOTE: Your favourite episode from the second half of Who Do You Think You Are? (UK, Series 10)

Vote for your favourite episode from the second half of the 10th UK Series of BBC One’s Who Do You Think You Are?

So, the tenth series of the UK version of Who Do You Think You Are? has ended.

Following on from my poll on the first five episodes, it’s time to vote for your favourite episode from the second half of the series.

Voting lasts for one month.

VOTE: Your favourite episode from the first half of Who Do You Think You Are? (UK, Series 10)

Vote for your favourite episode of the first half of the 10th UK series of Who Do You Think You Are?

We’re unbelievably halfway through the tenth UK series of Who Do You Think You Are?.

Not all of the celebrities that I suspected, have appeared in this first half, and some I didn’t guess correctly, or didn’t even guess at all.

Which episode, from this first half of this series, is your favourite? Vote now – the poll closes in 1 month, by which time, we’ll almost be at the end of the series.

Video: What’s Up Genealogy – Episode 11 with Andrew Martin

Catch up with my interview on episode 11 of the What’s Up Genealogy? show.

Last night I was the guest on What’s Up Genealogy? show – broadcast live via Google Hangout Air and streamed straight through to YouTube.

The show is hosted on US Central Time from Texas, meaning that whilst the show goes out each Friday at 8pm, for me here in the UK on BST this was a 2am slot. Fuelled entirely on extra strong tea, I was able to take part. I might even have been coherent – i’ll let you be the judge…

Presented by professional genealogist Caroline Pointer, and in the company of regular expert panel members Linda McCauley, Tessa Keough, Jerry Kocis and Gena Philibert-Ortega, I joined the panel to talk genealogy news and tips before going under the spotlight.

We covered the ‘controversial’ subject of the death of Ancestry Old Search – a topic that flared up on social media immediately after it was announced (check out Dick Eastman’s article on it). We also talked about the death of Google Reader and the rise of Feedly, and I talked about the importance of family/local history societies.

Let me know what you think. You can catch the rest of the episodes over at the show’s YouTube channel.

Interview on What’s Up Genealogy? Live show this Friday

Andrew Martin will be interviewed live on Friday 8pm CDT for episode 11 of What’s Up Genealogy? show.

I’ll be beaming live on Friday/Saturday, as I take part in a live video interview with the What’s Up Genealogy? show.

What's Up Genealogy? advert

I’m really looking forward to it, having watched the show evolve from it’s weekly 20 min format of its first episode, through to last week’s episode (over 1 hour, episode 10, and the first of its second series).

Led by Caroline Pointer of 4YourFamilyStory.com, and packed with tips, news, and a mighty slice of tech, I’ll be joining Caroline and fellow panelists Tessa Keough, Linda McCauley, Jerry Kocis, and Gena Philibert-Ortega to talk about researching genealogy, including my experiences of doing that in the UK.

You can catch it live at 8pm CDT tomorrow/2am BST Saturday, or watch it on YouTube afterwards, by going to the What’s Up Genealogy? show channel.

For a taster of what to expect, here’s last week’s episode, with guest Tina Lyons.

Nicky Campbell and Davina McCall reunited for new Long Lost Family series

Nicky Campbell and Davina McCall have returned for the third series of ITV’s Long Lost Family series.

Nicky Campbell and Davina McCall have returned for the third of ITV’s ‘Long Lost Family’ series, sponsored by Genes Reunited.

Long Lost Family - ITV

Often reuniting adopted children with their biological parents, the series is an immensely personal rollercoaster ride of emotions – sometimes making uncomfortable viewing.

The series, which is genealogy-lite (often only making passing reference to research techniques), is hosted by two Who Do You Think You Are? veterans – with Nicky’s episode detailing his own adoption.

Episode One follows the stories of mother Sue and daughter Kerry, and Alan and his search for his mother Pat.

As ever with this series, tissues required.

BBC after home movies to tell the story of a family

BBC looking for individuals who have video footage of their family in their own family archives.

BBC logoI’ve had an email from the team over at Video2DVDTransfer, who are helping the BBC find personal archive video footage for use in a BBC2 documentary.

They write:

Help us help the BBC.

The BBC is looking for individuals and/or families who have charted their lives with a video camera – spanning decades and changing formats and technologies.

This is for a unique and fascinating BBC2 documentary that will hope to tell the story of a family by using their video archive.

Perhaps you know of a video enthusiast in your family who owns a camera and is prone to film big life events as well as the mundanity of day-to-day life? Whether it is filmed on Super 8, 16mm, VHS or digital, we are open to all formats.

You may have hundreds of hours of family archive sitting in your loft of you, your parents, cousins, siblings waiting to be pieced together – if this sounds like you or someone that you know, we would love to hear from you.

Contact us and we will pass on your details.

Email sales@video2dvdtransfers.co.uk

Video2DVDTransfer recently converted a 1987 primary school christmas play (starring yours truly in copious solo singing moments) from video to DVD and video file format. They did a great job of it, and carefully looked after my video tape and returned it with speed and care. You’re not going to see it though!

Who Do You Think You Are? – which celebrities will be in the 2013 UK series?

Utilising my search skills to see if i can find the celebrities that will feature in the 2013 BBC UK series of Who Do You Think You Are?

BBC Who Do You Think YOu Are? logo

The internet is full of the great news and excitement that the US version of Who Do You Think You Are? has been picked up again by network TLC.

This has got me wondering who will be featuring in the forthcoming 2013 series of the UK edition of Who Do You Think You Are?, so I thought that I would employ my research skills to see if I could find out (naturally, I checked Twitter for those on-set spoiler tweets).

Sarah Millican (Comedian)

Comedian and writer Sarah Millican couldn’t be lured into giving any revelations about what is lurking in her ancestry – even after I offered my own prediction:

Gary Lineker (former Footballer, Sports TV Presenter, crisp advertiser)

Gary’s involvement was confirmed earlier in the year, after he tweeted about it, joking ‘..I’m a descendant of The Elephant Man. Would explain a couple of things.’

One helpful follower pointed out a possible ancestral trait (his ears) that might originate from the African plains!

Prediction: The Lineker ancestors will turn out to have invented the potato, which they originally used to kick around, as they didn’t realise it could be eaten.

Nigel Havers (Actor)

A number of reports back in April suggested that Nigel Havers was filming his episode in Colchester, Essex.

Brian Cox (no, the Actor one)

Having already mentioned the series in passing in an article in the Scottish Catholic Observer in September 2012, actor Brian Cox also seems to have filmed an episode in this cafe in Glasgow:

Minnie Driver (Actress, Singer)

Hollywood A-lister, Minnie Driver, turned heads at Stockton Library when filming her episode back in February this year. The article quotes her as researching her father’s family.

In a short series of tweets, she added this (amusing?) snippet of information:

Have you spotted any more hints of who’s starring?

Who would you like to see go under the WDYTYA spotlight?

The BBC and Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine are yet to announce the official line-up of celebrities, and the date of broadcast.

In the meantime, while we wait for the new series, turn your speakers on, press play on the video below and close your eyes…. and imagine your very own episode..

Keep researching!

Heir Hunters returns for a seventh series

BBC One’s probate research programme, Heir Hunters returns for a seventh series.

Probate research programme, Heir Hunters, has returned for a seventh series.

BBC Heir Hunters

The Heir Hunters programme, which follows probate research companies as they seek the benefactors of unclaimed estates, is currently showing during BBC One’s daytime weekday schedules and also on iPlayer (UK only).

As a fan of the show, I’m pleased to see it return, although know some friends who aren’t fans of the show – seeing the probate researchers as ‘money grabbers’.

In my opinion, if the estate is left unclaimed, and distant relatives have no idea of their relative’s death (or even existence in some cases), the commission that the probate teams earn is perfectly acceptable. In addition, with millions of GBP going unclaimed each year – it would simply go to the government if a probate researcher didn’t seek these out.

In addition, several previous episodes have acted as closure or a sad but welcome reunion for family stories and memories.

The first episode covers the cases of Prudence May Bone‘s railway family history, and a mysterious gentleman William Maxwell Naismith Wilcock, whose friends had no idea whether all his unusual life stories were true, and suspected him of being a spy.

The Bona Vacantia Unclaimed Estate Lists all the unclaimed estates since 1997 and can be viewed on their website. Is there an inheritance waiting for you?