Geordie pop singer and reality TV star Cheryl (née Tweedy, née Cole, née Fernandez-Versini) family history that is in parts both tragic and heroic.
Beginning with her father’s side of the family, she discovers that there is a branch of it in which her ancestors were mariners from North Shields. She learns how her four times great grandfather began as an apprentice in the merchant navy and made it all the way to captain, employing his troublesome brother too, only for them to both meet a devastating end in Canada.
Meanwhile Cheryl learns that there is a scandal in her mother’s side of the family, uncovering the fact that her great grandfather had two illegitimate children. However, she also learns of his bravery, as a man took part in World War One for most of the conflict, where as a “pioneer” it was his main job to dig the trenches, and was involved in the Battle of the Somme.
This episode was admittedly a bit of struggle for me, although that is mainly because I’m not a massive fan of Cheryl’s work. But one of the joys of this series is that it is able to take people that you might not be too keen on and make them enjoyable. If you were to sum up this episode in a word it would be “poignant” – the moving story of her mariner relatives, and the struggles her great grandfather had in the Great War, as well as his behaviour afterwards, make this edition rather moving.
Who Do You Think You Are? is available on iplayer until January 14 2017