Who Do You Think You Are - David Tennant and other celebrities on BBC 1 TV , Series 3,  autumn 2006  Who Do You Think You Are - David Tennant and other celebrities on BBC 1 TV , Third Series,  autumn 2006  .

Who do you think you are? - David Tennant

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  Who Do You Think You Are - David Tennant and other celebrities on BBC 1 TV , Third Series,  autumn 2006

The third series of Who Do You Think You Are? 
 featured  on BBC 1 television in autumn 2006

Who Do You Think You Are ? is the hugely successful genealogy TV series in which Britain's best loved celebrities trace their family trees

The 4th series of WDYTYA  on BBC 1 began on Thursday 6th September 2007 with Natasha Kaplinsky


WDYTYA 3rd Series Autumn 2006


Barbara Windsor 
Robert Lindsay
Colin Jackson
David Tennant
David Dickinson
Nigella Lawson
Jeremy Irons
Julia Sawalha


David Tennant , the actor who played Dr Who in the Sci-Fi BBC series, is one of the celebrities  who appeared in the genealogy programme  Who Do You Think You Are ? produced by Wall to Wall television productions.

Dr Brian Thomson of Scots Family is the genealogist who researched David's Scottish family history in detail. Brian then accompanied David on his travels from Paisley to Mull in search of his Scottish ancestors, and featured in the programme.

 David begins the search for his ancestors 

David Tennant appears in BBC's Who Do Think You Are, on an exploration of his family history in Scotland accompanied by Dr Brian Thomson of Scots Familiy.
David Tennant

David Tennant discovers a human skull in an abandoned church on Mull during filming of Who Do You Think You Are? for BBC 1.

 David finds human skulls in Kilninian Church


David was born in 1971 in Bathgate, a post-industrial town in West Lothian between Glasgow and Edinburgh. His father Sandy MacDonald is a Minister in the Church of Scotland. David’s real surname is MacDonald, but when he was starting out as an actor another performer was already known by that name. He chose instead the stage name Tennant because he saw Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant’s name in an article in Smash Hits and thought it sounded good!.

David begins his historical investigations at his parent's home in Paisley by focusing on his father’s side of the family, but  learns that the paper trail on the MacDonald family appears to run dry in Callendar, Perthshire. It cannot be so readily traced to the MacDonald clan from the outer Hebrides, as David and his father had hoped. So he turns his attention to the lineage of his mother Helen  McLeod, and  finds that these forebears hailed from the Isle of Mull. 

Abandoned crofthouse of the township of Inivea, Mull, home to the McLeod ancestors of David Tennant, filmed for "Who do you think you are?" BBC TV in summer 2006.
David visits his ancestors' croft at Inivey   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrKUWGB2kEA&feature=related

David visits Mull  and discovers that his McLeod ancestors were crofters at Inivey township above Calgary Bay for several generations.  Here  they lived as small tenant farmers until they were driven off their crofts during the Highland Clearances of the early nineteenth century. Dispossessed island families emigrated to North America, or sought employment in the cities of the south, notably Glasgow, as did David's family.  David’s mother Helen  remembered that, when she was born, her grandfather Archie McLeod worked as an engineer’s machinist at John Brown’s shipyard at Clydebank. The young Archie had been a skilled footballer and was capped for the Scottish Juniors. He then became a professional. 

Calgary Bay, Mull visited by David Tennant during BBC  "Who do you think you are?" filming in summer 2006.

To find out more about Archie’s footballing career, David went to see his Uncle John, who told him that after being capped for the Scottish Juniors, Archie was then signed by Derry City Football Club. David followed the trail to Londonderry in Northern Ireland, where Archie had arrived from Scotland as a 24 year old in 1932.  David has two much older cousins in Londonderry, called Billy and Barry, who he’s never met before. They are Catholics: their mother, David’s great-aunt Maisie, broke with family tradition and married a Catholic. Billy and Barry are also life-long supporters of Derry City FC and have been season ticket holders for forty years. Not only were they able to tell David plenty about Archie, who was a famous and popular footballer in his day, but they took him to a match where he met men whose fathers and grandfathers had cheered Archie on. Archie is still a celebrity in the town - he is still the highest goal scorer in Derry City history but his career, though brilliant, didn’t last long. During a match in 1938 he sustained serious injuries which ended his career. In those days footballers were paid nothing like the sums they are paid now, and there was no insurance so he had to return to Glasgow to work in the shipyards.

During his heyday in Londonderry, Archie had married a local beauty queen called Nellie Blair. With Archie’s local celebrity and Nellie’s beauty, they could possibly have been the Posh ‘n’ Becks of the 1930’s (although certainly without the huge wealth that goes hand in hand with footballer’s lifestyles today). David follows Nellie’s trail and makes contact with two other cousins – Billy and Betty, who are Protestants. From them he finds out that the Blairs were a prominent Protestant family and that the lives of Nellie’s father, William, and grandfather, James, were affected by the political battles that surrounded Irish independence and Northern Ireland’s secession from the Republic.

Maisie and her Catholic husband were not ostracized by her Protestant relatives, but the tensions politicised David’s cousin Barry, who has been involved in civil rights work and cross-community relations. At the end of David’s visit to Londonderry, Barry takes him back to Derry City FC, where Archie McLeod used to play, to watch Protestant and Catholic youngsters play football; living embodiments of the principles espoused in 1998’s Good Friday Agreement, signed in the hope of bringing thirty years of sectarian bloodshed to an end.

BBC describes the series as " a collection of moving and inspiring stories of ordinary people who have discovered extraordinary facts about their own ancestors through their own genealogical research."

Have you fully researched  your family history yet ?

Series 1 and Series 2 explored the family history of a range of celebrities, including the Scottish family links of Jeremy Paxman

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