Who Do You Think You Are? and I'm excited about the new series that starts this Wednesday. History has always seemed a bit too fixated with 'Kings and Dates' for me. I've always been far more interested in what ordinary folk experienced, rather than the politics. Maybe that's why I studied archaeology, not history.Archaeology is the science of reconstructing cultures from physical remains. Texts can be part of the story, but not all of it, unlike in history.
But when it comes to Who Do You Think You Are? it's text evidence all the way - so why is this so different? Because it's about real people. The programmes start with somebody well-known, but their ancestors were rarely important. They were ordinary folk, experiencing ordinary things. And in many cases those ordinary things were pretty harsh.
Wednesday's new series begins with baker Paul Hollywood, but for some reason the BBC is being coy about who else is involved. I've recognised Derek Jacobi in the programme trailer, and Military Wives choirmaster Gareth Malone. There's also actress Frances De La Tour. I THINK I've spotted foodie John Torode, and maybe actress Anne Reid (Derek Jacobi's Last Tango in Halifax co-star), but my celebrity-ometer is not particularly well developed and the other faces are lost on me.
It doesn't matter, though. Even when I've not heard of the person, or even when I don't particularly like them, their ancestors are fascinating to me. Roll on Wednesday!