Each celebrity travels to discover their relatives past and is taken back in time and around the world as they learn how their ancestor's lives have shaped the world they live in today.
Ainsley Harriott – (Presenter) Ainsley Harriott heads to the West Indies to uncover his roots and discovers that Caribbean history isn’t quite as ‘black and white’ as he’d imagined.
Boris Johnson – (Politician) Boris compares himself to a jar of honey found on supermarket shelves – ‘the product of many countries’. He thinks he is part Jewish; part French; part English; part American; part pterodactyl and, rather unpredictably, part Turkish.
David Suchet – (Actor) David Suchet embarks on a journey round Europe in an effort to unravel the riddle of his family history. Some relations think his father’s father was German, others Russian, others Estonian. And when and why was their name changed from Suchedowitz to Suchet? His mother’s side of the family is equally confusing. Was her grandfather called Jarché or Jarchy? He claimed to be a French photographer but was he?
Esther Rantzen – (Presenter) Esther Rantzen believes her family history is exclusively a story of genteel middle-class respectability but there is one story of a ‘black sheep’ that has always intrigued her. Her cousin reveals the black sheep to be their great-grandfather, Montague Leverson, who following some ‘financial trouble’ abandoned his family and fled to America. Her investigations into Montague uncover a scandalous story of fraud, bigamy and murder.
Jerry Springer – (Presenter) Jerry Springer was born in Golders Green in 1944. His Jewish parents had escaped to London from Nazi Germany just three days before the outbreak of the Second World War. Jerry’s grandmothers did not escape and both were murdered in the holocaust. He does not know what happened to them after his parent’s escape, or where they died, and with their death, all knowledge of his family’s roots were also lost.
Jodie Kidd – (Model) Great-grandparents on both sides of Jodie’s family were awarded titles. Her father’s grandfather was Lord Beaverbrook, the legendary newspaper magnate who served in the British cabinet during both world wars. Her mother’s grandfather was the mysterious Sir Rowland Hodge, a Newcastle shipbuilder.
Laurence Llewellyn Bowen – (Presenter) Laurence has always felt a close connection to the sea and wants to discover how far back his seafaring roots go. He also want to find out if there is any truth behind a family legend that they descend from wealthy squires whose lands were nefariously stolen.
Patsy Kensit – (Actor) Patsy’s late father was a villain. Jimmy Kensit was deeply involved with London’s most notorious gangsters of the 1960s: the Krays and the Richardsons. Reggie Kray is godfather to Patsy’s brother. Apprehensively, Patsy embarks on an investigation into her father’s murky past, wanting to understand the roots of his criminality and to discover how far back ‘the family trade’ goes.