Monday, 26 July 2010

WDYTYA UK: Rupert Everett

The second episode in the current UK Who Do You Think You Are serious featured actor Rupert Everett. As outlined in the BBC's teaser/summary below the journey documented was a bit of a roller coaster ride.

It appears that Ancestry are not current WDYTYA sponsors. Searches using the databases were prominently featured but I noticed the word Ancestry, and the ancestry logo, were not shown. Obviously they didn't pay their product placement fee.

There were incidences of Everett jumping to conclusions, for example in failing to find his grandmother in a search in which he specified the exact birth-year and location. However, the lesson of treating the information you find as evidence, not fact, was made in that his initial conclusion that the father was deceased, as indicated on a marriage certificate, turned out to be incorrect when he found a later death certificate.

Here's the BBC summary:

Rupert Everett’s varied acting career has involved starring in Hollywood films as diverse as My Best Friend’s Wedding, Shrek 2 and The Importance of Being Earnest. Rupert has a rigidly conservative background, and feels that much of his own life has been a reaction against it. Following the recent death of his father six months ago, he wants to investigate the paternal side of his family.

Rupert visits his mother Sara to find out more about his father Tony’s early life. He discovers that Tony’s father Cyril worked in Nigeria for the Colonial Service. Sara has a photograph of Cyril as a two-year-old; she tells Rupert that the family believe that he was brought up by two aunts in Hammersmith. Rupert wants to find out more about Cyril’s life, and what he was doing in Nigeria.

Rupert tracks down records which chart Cyril’s career in the Service, and discovers just how important a role he held in Nigeria… But what about Cyril’s childhood? Rupert decides to search the online census records and unearths some very unexpected information. This is the start of a rollercoaster investigation into fathers and sons which Rupert describes as like an Ealing Comedy, with its twists, turns and surprise relatives popping up.

Rupert reflects on the ripple effects of broken relationships across the generations. On social mobility, both up and down; broken rules; abandonment; rebellion; convention; and secrecy.

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