Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Who Do You Think You Are Fooling?

At least one scene in one episode of the BBC genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? was staged. The featured celebrity, Carol Vorderman, was unaware of the manipulation.

Vorderman wanted to know where a photo of her great-grandfather was taken and was shown asking passers-by in Prestatyn for help.

Finally, shop assistant Dawn Farrell identified it as Bodnant Gardens in the Conwy Valley.

But Dawn revealed: "A man told me Carol was going to come into the shop with a photo and ask me about it. He said, 'She is going to show you a photo - could you tell her it is Bodnant?' [Link]



I watched that episode last week when I was in Ireland.


It's a good series, but the contrived bits can get ridiculous. The celebrity is shown looking through parish records, then shouting 'aargh, there he is!' when he finds something, as if he has just 'accidently' found a record, when atually, a team of researchers have been scouring around for the past six months.
It makes it all look so easy......


If they showed genealogy as it is actually practiced, would anyone watch it? And would any celebrity be willing to spend hours scanning microfilm in a fruitless search for ancestors?

The answer to the first question is "Yes, if the celebrity was Scarlett Johansson." The answer to the second question is "Probably not Scarlett Johansson."

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