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Comedian, presenter and actor Matt Lucas had an exceptionally close bond with his late grandmother, Margot, who came to the UK in 1939 as a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany. Matt has never fully understood what Margot experienced as a young woman in Berlin in the lead up to the Second World War, or what became of the close-knit extended family she left behind. Matt’s poignant journey takes him to Berlin and then to Amsterdam, where he discovers an extraordinary connection to Anne Frank, as well as the fate of his many family members who fled to neutral Holland only to find themselves trapped as the country was invaded by the Nazis.Read More
Being a mum is a massive part of Motherland star Anna Maxwell Martin’s life. She is interested in what kinds of parents there were in the family before her, and how this has shaped her own life and the kind of parent she is to her daughters. Travelling to the small town in Northern Ireland where her father grew up, her understanding of her grandparents - who suffered a heartbreaking family tragedy - is turned on its head. On her mother’s side, Anna starts with her twinkly grandfather Maxwell, whose name she added to her own to create her stage name. Looking into his childhood, she uncovers a dark history of domestic abuse and family separation. But she also discovers extraordinary familial solidarity and love that changed the pattern for the generations that followed.Read More
Death in Paradise star Ralf Little leaves the sun-drenched Caribbean well behind as he heads to the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland to investigate his grandfather Arthur’s experiences during the Second World War. Ralf is astonished to discover that Arthur was caught up in one of the most important battles of the conflict.
Looking into another branch of his family, Ralf is thrilled to confirm a family rumour that he has a Welsh international footballer on his family tree. Once a serious footballer himself, Ralf’s joy turns to despair when he learns that his great-grandfather’s devotion to the beautiful game was severely tested by a wave of religious fervour that swept through Wales in the early 1900s.
Finally, on returning to his hometown of Manchester, Ralf is delighted to learn that another ancestor played a key role in the development of this great industrial city.Read More