Jodie Whittaker has been announced as part of the lineup of the new season of Who Do You Think You Are? as she traces her family history back to World War I

The line-up for the new season of Who Do You Think You Are?, the BBC’s genealogy show where celebrities are guided through their family histories has been announced. And the Thirteenth Doctor herself, Jodie Whittaker, is one of those taking part. The Doctor Who star learns the poignant reality behind a family myth surrounding her great uncle’s sacrifice in WWI. Meanwhile, the Huddersfield born actor also unearths some uncomfortable truths about her great-great grandfather in Yorkshire.

Who Do You Think You Are? took me on an incredible journey through some of my family history,” says Whittaker, “I discovered people and events that I had no idea existed before this. I was lucky to go home and see my Mum and Dad, and lucky to see places I’d never been to before.”

The series was filmed earlier this year. Not long afterward the growing global pandemic put the UK and much of the world into lockdown. And the Doctor Who actor has reflected on the added poignancy it’s given the project. “I was lucky to meet and shake hands with some wonderful and intelligent people whose insight into history blew my mind. And only in February did I embark on this journey, and knowing where we are now, it feels even more special to have had this adventure.”

Whittaker is just the latest Doctor Who star to take part, following in the footsteps of David Tennant and others

Jodie Whittaker isn’t the first Doctor to take part in the long running BBC series, of course. In 2006 Tenth Doctor actor David Tennant memorably traced his family back to the highlands of Scotland. But also discovered their divide across both sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland. John Hurt, the future War Doctor, appeared in 2007 too. In that case he attempted to chase down rumours his family were the illegitimate descendants of the Marquis of Sligo. Meanwhile, other noteworthy subjects have included Noel Clarke, Mark Gatiss, Derek Jacobi, and Alexander Armstrong.

Who Do You Think You Are? Season 17 starts next month on BBC One.


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