*Who Do You Think You Are - Whitehalls

The place to chat and put the world to rights
Post Reply
amuse
Gold
Posts: 12
Joined: 25 Oct 2007 18:57
Family Historian: V6.2

Who Do You Think You Are - Whitehalls

Post by amuse » 09 Aug 2019 20:30

Didn't know where to postulate this, but it has been nagging at me ever since I watched the programme on Monday.

Granted that not all family rumours are true or accurate, but usually I find there is a grain of truth that has been stretched to make the person more important or to cover up a misdeed.

The Whitehall's ancestor was supposed to have died in a 'pony and trap acccident' whereas the horrible truth was a death from a sexually transmitted disease.

Has anyone else jumped to the possible theory that the 'pony and trap' was rhyming slang for clap?

OK there didn't appear to be a cockney connection, but euphamisms and rhyming slang abound around the world - my Australian friends freely use 'German Dancer' as a substitute for cancer.

Sorry! Just living up to my pseudonym of A.Muse

Gowermick
Megastar
Posts: 724
Joined: 13 Oct 2015 07:22
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Swansea

Re: Who Do You Think You Are - Whitehalls

Post by Gowermick » 09 Aug 2019 21:41

Haha, my thoughts were the same when I saw the programme. Rhyming slang does have its uses :D
Mike Loney

Using FH 6.2.7, with CC 6.7.37 Windows 10.0.14393 Build14393, LibreOffice 6.1.4.1(x64), Firefox 67.0.1(64Bit) & Thunderbird 60.7.0
Website http://www.loney.tribalpages.com
http://www.mickloney.tribalpages.com

User avatar
gwilym'smum
Famous
Posts: 213
Joined: 01 Feb 2016 16:28
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: South Cheshire
Contact:

Re: Who Do You Think You Are - Whitehalls

Post by gwilym'smum » 10 Aug 2019 08:21

That is really interesting, not being from "down south" I hadn't thought of that.

What I did notice was that when a relative supposedly presents a certificate, which was presumably in their possession, it had been purchased around the time the programme was made.
Ann
Researching Mayer, Parr/Parr, Simcock, Beech and all related families

Gowermick
Megastar
Posts: 724
Joined: 13 Oct 2015 07:22
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Swansea

Re: Who Do You Think You Are - Whitehalls

Post by Gowermick » 10 Aug 2019 11:01

Ann,
They never let the truth stand in the way of a good story. They regard us as gullible numpty’s most of the time :D
It does pay to read any documents you can see though, that is how I found out one of Len Goodman’s ancestors was sister to one of my direct ancestors. I spotted a familiar name and address on one of the certificates being looked at!
Mike Loney

Using FH 6.2.7, with CC 6.7.37 Windows 10.0.14393 Build14393, LibreOffice 6.1.4.1(x64), Firefox 67.0.1(64Bit) & Thunderbird 60.7.0
Website http://www.loney.tribalpages.com
http://www.mickloney.tribalpages.com

User avatar
gwilym'smum
Famous
Posts: 213
Joined: 01 Feb 2016 16:28
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: South Cheshire
Contact:

Re: Who Do You Think You Are - Whitehalls

Post by gwilym'smum » 10 Aug 2019 16:15

Mike
That was a good spot.
Like you say it is all about a good story but it then makes it a story and reality becomes hidden. I have started to like A House Through Time much better.
Researching Mayer, Parr/Parr, Simcock, Beech and all related families

Gowermick
Megastar
Posts: 724
Joined: 13 Oct 2015 07:22
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Swansea

Re: Who Do You Think You Are - Whitehalls

Post by Gowermick » 10 Aug 2019 16:54

That programme suffers the same. They see children missing from home on a census, living with grandparents, and assume they have taken over caring for the children. They can't see that as it is a snapshot for one night, the children may be just visiting their nanny and granddad!
Mike Loney

Using FH 6.2.7, with CC 6.7.37 Windows 10.0.14393 Build14393, LibreOffice 6.1.4.1(x64), Firefox 67.0.1(64Bit) & Thunderbird 60.7.0
Website http://www.loney.tribalpages.com
http://www.mickloney.tribalpages.com

User avatar
gwilym'smum
Famous
Posts: 213
Joined: 01 Feb 2016 16:28
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: South Cheshire
Contact:

Re: Who Do You Think You Are - Whitehalls

Post by gwilym'smum » 11 Aug 2019 07:04

Mike
We will have to make a new programme "No assumptions Made" :D
Researching Mayer, Parr/Parr, Simcock, Beech and all related families

User avatar
mjashby
Superstar
Posts: 415
Joined: 23 Oct 2004 10:45
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Who Do You Think You Are - Whitehalls

Post by mjashby » 11 Aug 2019 09:09

Then, of course, there is the list of 'celebrities' whose WDYTYA programmes were abandoned because their ancestors were, after some initial research, considered to be too ordinary, boring and unworthy to justify a TV programme including:

- Eamon Holmes
- Michael Parkinson
- Cherie Blair
- Stephen Mangan

This perhaps reflects the fact that the programme makers have no interest whatsoever in explaining genuine approaches to family history research; and maximum interest in sloppy and lazy attempts to cash in on celebrity.

Mervyn

User avatar
ColeValleyGirl
Megastar
Posts: 1194
Joined: 28 Dec 2005 22:02
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Contact:

Re: Who Do You Think You Are - Whitehalls

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 11 Aug 2019 09:27

WDYTYA is not a genealogy programme -- strange as it may seem to those of us who research Family History as a hobby, there is not an audience for programmes showing the (to most people, tedious) process of research. (It might have started off showing a little more of the process, but I suspect that audience research disabused them rapidly of the notion that that was a long-term recipe for success).

It's a "here are some family stories that might interest or entertain the general public, hung on the hook of a celebrity looking into their family tree". And boring stories about ag labs who didn't murder anyone, catch some nasty disease or participate in a major historical moment are never going to make the cut.

User avatar
MarkB
Diamond
Posts: 56
Joined: 31 Mar 2006 17:52
Family Historian: V5

Re: Who Do You Think You Are - Whitehalls

Post by MarkB » 11 Aug 2019 14:50

Plenty of ag labs in my family, I'll never make it on to TV!
But where would we be without our ag labs?

User avatar
AdrianBruce
Megastar
Posts: 804
Joined: 09 Aug 2003 21:02
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: South Cheshire
Contact:

Re: Who Do You Think You Are - Whitehalls

Post by AdrianBruce » 11 Aug 2019 15:25

ColeValleyGirl wrote:... It might have started off showing a little more of the process, but I suspect that audience research disabused them rapidly of the notion that that was a long-term recipe for success. ...
It did - 5 minutes at the end of Adrian Chiles doing his everyman schtick and looking even more bored than usual. (That's not meant to be an insult to Mr. Chiles - no-one called Adrian can be all bad...)

As I recollect the programme makers said that there had been several attempts at genealogy programmes before - all had sunk without trace until these guys hit the winning formula of the star as a hook and social history, rather than family history.

I only really start muttering into my beard when the relatives or experts come up with (newly printed) certificates, when they've obviously been planted on them by the makers - just an initial little phrase like "Here's something you need to see..." would help to explain where they've come from. Though actually I think they've improved on that aspect a bit.
Adrian

SunnyLady
Famous
Posts: 111
Joined: 31 Mar 2006 18:43
Family Historian: V4

Re: Who Do You Think You Are - Whitehalls

Post by SunnyLady » 11 Aug 2019 18:28

I have a vague memory of the first series having an add on programme with Nick Barrett, not on BBC1, showing ordinary mortals how to do their family history...

Post Reply