Who Do You Think You Are series title card

Who Do You Think You Are? announces Series 21 line up

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The enduring genealogy show features Vicky McClure, Rose Ayling-Ellis and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill. 

Who Do You Think You Are? returns for its 21st series and the BBC have confirmed the famous faces involved.

We’re told to expect “… more shocking discoveries and revelations, as seven celebrities set out on their ancestral journeys and unveil epic family secrets.

“Spanning centuries of history, this series will reveal an extraordinary array of stories from circus antics to embezzlement, a life-changing accident, the Cold War, and stirring tales of triumph against the odds. It will take viewers across the UK and around the world including Ireland, Taiwan, Jamaica and Latvia as the celebrities search for answers.”

Actress Vicky McClure (Trigger Point) discovers the harrowing story of her great-grandfather’s experience as a Japanese Prisoner of War.

Closer to home, presenter, actor and comedian Paddy McGuinness discovers his grandfather’s crucial role during WWII. He also investigates his McGuinness surname in Ireland, discovering he nearly wasn’t a McGuinness at all.

Rose Ayling-Ellis

Actor, presenter and disability rights campaigner Rose Ayling-Ellis unveils an incident which uncannily mirrors an episode of EastEnders, having taken place in a pub in Birmingham.

Elsewhere, Essex-born reality TV personality Gemma Collins, meets a family member she never knew she had and discovers her Essex roots go back even further than she thought.

Pop and Sports Stars

Olly Murs heads overseas to Riga in Latvia and is delighted to discover his circus performing ancestors. Meanwhile, former Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm (Mel C) unearths a political activist and the story of how her family survived the Great Famine in Ireland.

Finally, Olympic gold medallist and former heptathlon world champion Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill travels to Jamaica. There she learns about her relative’s journey from being enslaved to owning his own land.

Simon Young, BBC Head of History, says:

“This year we have a stellar line up to mark twenty years of the nation’s favourite social history series. Time and again it proves the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction, while helping us all to understand the history of Britain and the world much better, so it’s clear why our audiences have taken this series to their hearts. I’m so grateful to all the celebrities who have shared their family histories, and to the incredible production team that pulls it all together.”

Who Do You Think You Are? Series 21 launches on BBC One and iPlayer this summer. Produced by Wall to Wall Media, executive produced by Colette Flight and series produced by Lucy Swingler.