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Jodie Whittaker, David Walliams, Liz Carr and Ruth Jones take part in Who Do You Think You Are?

They'll each unravel their family history in a new shorter series of the hit BBC One show this October.

The new series promises to deliver laughter, tears, tragedies and shocks, as the celebrities uncover and share emotional stories and surprising revelations about family members both beloved and unknown.

Viewers will see Jodie Whittaker face some fraught family history and David Walliams learns that entertaining runs in the family whilst also uncovering a relative’s traumatic experience during WWI. And Liz Carr investigates an ancestor's role in an attempted murder whilst Ruth Jones unearths a family connection to the origins of the National Health Service.

Doctor Who actor Jodie Whittaker learns the poignant reality behind a family myth surrounding her great uncle’s sacrifice in WWI while unearthing some uncomfortable truths about her great-great grandfather in Yorkshire.

Talking about her experience on the show, Jodie said "Who DoYouThinkYouAre? took me on an incredible journey through some of my family history. I discovered people and events that I had no idea existed before this."

"I was lucky to go home and see my Mum and Dad, lucky to see places I'd never been to before, and lucky to meet and shake hands with (!) some wonderful and intelligent people whose insight into history blew my mind."

"And only in February did I embark on this journey, and knowing where we are now, it feels even more special to have had this adventure."

From his hometown in Surrey to the First World War Battlefields in Belgium, actor, comedian and television personality David Walliams delights in discovering a great-great grandfather who, after becoming blind, forged a career as a travelling entertainer.

Walliams also uncovers a more tragic story surrounding his paternal great grandfather’s experiences following WWI.

On taking part in the series, David Walliams said "I’m delighted to have taken part in the series. I started off the journey knowing very little about my ancestry. In making the programme I found out lots of family history I would never would have learned of. I was pleased to discover that being an entertainer runs in the family."

More Great War history is uncovered by Silent Witness actor and activist Liz Carr, who learns of her paternal grandfather’s experiences in the Royal Navy's Northern Patrol. Carr also travels to Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland, and gets forensic, exposing an ancestor’s role in an attempted murder.

Talking about being selected to take part in the show, Liz Carr said "I’ve watched Who Do You Think You Are? over the years so to be selected to have the show research my family history has been a wonderfully surreal experience."

"An armchair genealogist, my mum has dragged us around graveyards in search of our ancestors but to no avail so I’m hoping this will now all stop (probably not - knowing my mum!) I have loved every moment of discovery, of following in the footsteps of my ancestors and learning how the past really has informed my present."

"All of the experts were generous and fascinating as they guided me back in time to introduce me to my family. Before doing Who DoYouThinkYouAre? all I really knew about my ancestors was that they had died but now I know that they lived and how they lived. I like knowing that, I like knowing who they were and I feel very proud to be related to them."

Co-creator and star of Gavin and Stacey, Ruth Jones, learns that her paternal grandfather was a key player in the Medical Aid Societies of South Wales, which provided a model for the National Health Service. She also discovers a lineage of world-travelling mariners on her mother’s side.

Talking about her journey on the show, Ruth Jones said "FilmingWho DoYouThinkYouAre? was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I feel so privileged to have been taken on this spectacular journey into my heritage and to have discovered so much about my ancestors."

"I’ve probably been guilty of assuming people from by-gone generations were stuffy, two dimensional and a bit dull. But my trip on Who Do You Think You Are? has proved the opposite to be true. I feel like I’ve got to know the real people behind the fading sepia photographs and it’s made me want to find out more. Ancestry is where it’s at!"

Who Do You Think You Are? returns this October on BBC One


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