, 2022-05-17 04:00:30,
In the rush of everyday life, it’s rare we take the time to think about the ancestors whose life circumstances, decisions and experiences made us who we are today.
But when we do take a look back at the lives of our predecessors, truly fascinating stories can be unearthed – as celebrities discover in each episode of the popular BBC programme Who Do You Think You Are?
Tracing her family history this series is comedian and TV presenter Sue Perkins, best known for her partnership with Mel Giedroyc and for formerly presenting The Great British Bake Off.
So, should we all trace our ancestry?
Sue Perkins’ parents, Bert and Ann Perkins’ wedding photo (BBC/Wall To Wall Media Ltd/Anne Perkins/PA)”I’ve been thinking about it since I lost my dad,” states Perkins, 52. When you lose a parent or a family member, it feels like someone’s snipped one of the cables of the hot air balloon you’ve been flying in. There’s a sense of precariousness.
“For me, I wanted to find out a bit more about my past, but also him. Why am I the person I am? What impact has my ancestry had on my emotional peccadilloes, my ways of thinking, my patterns of behaviour?
“They helped me put together the jigsaw puzzle of my life.
“I associate the Victorian period with something remote – it’s something I studied, something we read, and it’s not touchable. Because my grandfather was 60-plus when my dad was born, he’s very much a child of that time, but I never really fully embraced the fact that that was where he was from.
“The workhouse, which is where he [her grandfather] was an orphan, is for me an unimaginably antiquated thing, and yet just two generations back, there he…
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