Who Do You Think You Are? – Danny Dyer

Danny Dyer - Who Do You Think You Are

The latest series of the genealogy show sees the EastEnders star discovering that he surprisingly regal ancestry.

Danny Dyer’s episode begins with him saying that: “I’d like to freak some people out.” At first it might seem he will, with him being told that his 3xGreat grandparents ran the local workhouse. In fact it turns out that they were just regular inmates of the workhouse. What is more shocking is that his 2xGreat grandmother plead guilty to concealing the birth of her firstborn – something which seem to have later inspired her to be in charge of all the family births.

After seeking help from a genealogist – which one always feels is slightly cheating on WDYTYA? because you feel that point of the show should be the star themselves doing most of the research – Dyer learns that his 10xGreat grandfather fought for the Royalists during the English Civil War, and he discovers someone even more notable in his family. His 15xGreat grandfather is Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s right-hand man.

This was a fun start to the series. You got pretty much everything you want from WDYTYA? You had the classic tragedy, but not just in one form – there was the workhouse, the crime and the Civil War. However, you also have the revelations that Dyer’s background is actually royal. This also does mean that thanks to an earlier episode from a few years back, that Danny Dyer is a distant cousin to Alexander Armstrong.

The best line from the episode: Dyer driving into a distant cousin’s grand country retreat saying: “This geezer’s got a drawbridge – f***ing Hell!”

Who Do You Think You Are? is on BBC One on Thursdays at 20.00.