Jason Donovan

Image for Jason DonovanNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 59 minutes

Nine celebrities trace their family trees to explore the lives of their ancestors and uncover major themes in British social history.

Jason Donovan was born in Australia and catapulted to fame in the soap opera Neighbours. He's had four UK number one singles and is a star of West End musicals.

Jason comes from showbiz parents who divorced when he was five. His British born father won custody and brought him up alone, but its Jason's mother's family line that holds the key to Jason's Australian heritage - up to now a complete mystery to him.

Starting in his hometown of Melbourne, Jason goes to meet his mother's cousin Judy and discovers that the showbusiness roots in his family go deeper than he thinks. As Jason unravels this mystery, he also tries to understand why his mother went missing from his life as a child.

Digging deeper into history, Jason uncovers a possible convict connection. He sets off to Tasmania to see how his ancestors ended up there - and uncovers a British miscarriage of justice. Returning to Sydney, Jason traces his family back to one of the earliest Australian settlers - a pioneer who opened up the entire continent to settlement. At the end of his journey, Jason feels reconnected to his Australian roots and realises his family story is no less than the story of the birth of a nation.

  • Jason's great-grandmother

    Jason's great-grandmother

    Eileen Lyons, Jason's great-grandmother, started her stage career when she was 16 years old.

  • Jason's Parents

    Jason's Parents

    Jason's parents, Sue and Terence Donovan, were both recognised actors; they separated in 1972.

Credits

Series Producer
Carrie Britton

Broadcasts

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Available on: DVD

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