Last week we launched a competition to find the best ideas for celebrities to appear on Who Do You Think You Are? We are going to be at the Who Do You Think You Are? Live event later this month, and wanted to get everyone's creative juices flowing before we got there - as well as giving away a few tickets!
We received a high volume of entrants, and some fantastic and very innovative ideas. In the end we selected the following three ideas as winners, and those who came up with them have been awarded the free tickets.
The first winning idea came from Tara, who suggested Sir Chris Bonington to appear on the show. Sir Bonington has had a fascinating life as a mountaineer, making expeditions to Everest multiple times, and being the first person in history to climb the south face of the Annapurna. The Annapurna peaks are the most dangerous in the world, even today claiming a 40% fatality rate for those who attempt the summit, and as such Sir Bonington's climb is no mean feat. As Tara put it, "we know where he's ascended to, now let's find out where he's descended from."
The second idea came from Rosemary, who suggested that Michael Portillo would be a good candidate for the show. "I have been watching him in the recent 'Great British Railway Journeys' series," said Rosemary, "and he seems to be such a nice person, polite and genuinely interested in everyone he meets. His father is Spanish, and I do not think anyone of Spanish descent has previously appeared in the programme. Spanish surnames are passed in an unusual way, giving a person two surnames – the first from the father and the second from the mother. Thus, each generation has different surnames. Having this, and other facts about Spanish genealogy explained, would be very helpful to anyone who finds they have Spanish ancestors."
The final winning suggestion came from Julie, who had the idea of Julian Lennon - the musician, film-maker, and son of John Lennon - appearing on the show. Julie said: "He didn't get to have that close family connection growing up with his dad so far away. I think the information that he could learn about his family lines could give him a wonderful feeling of family reunited and heal his broken heart. I too, did not grow up with my dad and all of my direct line on my dad's side of the family has passed away. That left me feeling so lonely but he has left me a legacy of great people in his family line of kings." Julie also suggested the idea of an ordinary person appearing on the show each series, which we thought was a nice touch.
All the winners should receive their tickets next week. Thanks to all of those who entered for your many excellent suggestions, which unfortunately we did not have space to include here. Stand by for a post next week with more details of our appearance at the show!