BBC Television programmes  permalink

Who do you think you are? Why not ordinary people?

This discussion has been closed.

Messages: 1 - 11 of 11
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Rita Frazer (U15799738) on Wednesday, 24th July 2013

    Although this programme is probably more interesting if you know the person concerned but I think there may be many ordinary people, who are not famous but have interesting backgrounds which they would like to explore more fully.
    For instance I know my ancestors were once famous for entertaining royalty at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight long before my ancestor named Blachford sold Osborne House to Queen Victoria. Also one of my ancestors was Lord Mayor of London and another contributed a wing of Bart's Hospital. That is just my father's side of the family.My mother always claimed to be a descendant of Jane Seymour. Her mother's maiden name was Seymour.
    So why stick to famous people?

    Rita Frazer

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by santapup (U14659366) ** on Wednesday, 24th July 2013

    This comes up on a regular basis

    The whole point of this series is that it features well known people-the title is a twist on the cliche -"don't you know who I am?"

    You know about your history-consider this -how many people other than you close family would be interested in your ancestry?

    Sorry to say but am afraid you are missing the point and the premise of the programme.

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by swillott (U13835085) on Thursday, 25th July 2013

    Although the Osborne House owned by your ancestor was demolished and the present house built by Thomas Cubitt in consultation with Prince Albert..

    In 1843 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were looking for a seaside retreat for their growing family to escape the pressures of London and Windsor. The Osborne estate, then owned by Lady Isabella Blachford, was recommended to them by the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel (1788–1850).
    The estate was initially leased, then bought in May 1845 for £28,000

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Annie-Lou (U4502268) on Thursday, 25th July 2013

    Because, though it may be very interesting to you Rita, its not that interesting to the rest of us. I used to love WDYTYA, but I feel now it has jumped the shark. For the last couple of seasons its been obvious that they were thoroughly researching the celebs before selecting them, and choosing the ones who had a really gripping story tucked away in their family tree. When they make the programme, they focus on that one ancestor and then feign surprise as the story emerges. It would be even more the case with "ordinary people".

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by z4mster (U14864348) on Thursday, 25th July 2013

    If it was done for "ordinary" people then it would probably be done in the style of "The Great British Gene Off" where "contestants" would be put through various "challenges" such as "Discovering a Century of Ancestors" or "Which Ancestor Had The Most Unpleasant Death".

    The eventual winner would be the one that survived the longest, across the weeks, and managed to complete an actual family tree with, no doubt, a toothy Pterodactyl, named Hector, at the root of it.

    It will be filmed in the crypt of a church and presented by two people whom you'd have never associated with genealogy before,

    "who, must each"

    "take it in"

    "turns, to"

    "say"

    "something".

    Experts! Of course there will be experts! One of them, of course, will be improbably buffed, tanned, and immaculately turned out, either a real ladies man or of undetermined sexuality (until the inevitable MoS interview) and a kindly old lady, more dusty than the average Parish ledger, that secretly hates the programme because it is a constant reminder of her own mortality and the presentation of a 50 year calendar, by the crew, on the celebration of 78th birthday was just not funny.

    Bound to be a ratings winner.

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Annie-Lou (U4502268) on Thursday, 25th July 2013

    smiley - laugh won't we get to phone in and vote for the one that cries the most?

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by chipsaunt (U14638803) on Thursday, 25th July 2013

    My family history is incredibly interesting - to me. I did a massive amount of research and even wrote a small self-published book about it. Even my own sister and brother don't share my enthusiasm, although my father was very pleased with the results.
    If non-famous people were included, this would be the unfortunate outcome.

    We all value our own family history so much that it is often difficult to see beyond this. I have a few great stories to tell, but only my older relatives are really interested in them. It doesn't mean that our work is not worthwhile, or our ancestors are not special people. But for TV, it's celebrity that counts.
    I also really enjoy finding out snippets of information about famous people, so I am happy with the format.

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by cthatcham (U1400828) on Thursday, 25th July 2013

    Don't give them ideas, z4mster!! smiley - biggrin

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by z4mster (U14864348) on Thursday, 25th July 2013

    cthatcham, they are welcome to the idea...but it will cost them £25million for a two series deal. If The Voice was considered viable entertainment for £22million, then, adjusting for inflation and for being just better, £25mill is a bargain that any Danny Cohen would be delighted to snap up.

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by Stokey Sue (U14258170) on Thursday, 25th July 2013

    I think some of the more gripping stores are good irrespective of who the person is - Jason Donovan was a good example, I thought I had no interest in the man (though good to be reminded he ain't Scott & can use polysyllabic words with ease) - but the story of the contrasting sides of his family was fascinating, and told me about interesting bits of Australian history that were completely new to me.

    If you could get ordinary Joes with families that interesting it might be OK – but how many would you need to research & discard to find that sort of family? At least if you have a celeb then you can rely on them being televisual and it is often nice to feel you know them a bit better by the end. I decided I really liked the late Robin Gibb when he did the programme, having had no feelings about him one way or the other previously, and my parents took greatly to Graham Norton, having been tipped off by me that his family history was remarkably parallel to Dad’s, and they’d probably like him when not in his showbiz persona.

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by dollyperm (U14055598) on Thursday, 25th July 2013

    i find that zzzzzzzz ax

    Report message11

Back to top

About this Board

The Points of View team invite you to discuss BBC Television programmes.

Add basic Smileys or extra Smileys to your posts.

Questions? Check the BBC FAQ for answers first!

Go to: BBC News Have your say to discuss topics in the news

Make a complaint? Go to the BBC complaints website.

BBC News: Off-topic for this board, so contact them directly with your feedback: Contact BBC News

or register to take part in a discussion.


The message board is currently closed for posting.


Mon-Sat: 0900-2300
Sun: 1000-2300

This messageboard is reactively moderated.

Find out more about this board's House Rules

Search this Board

Recent Discussions

Copyright © 2014 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.