The final instalment of the third season of “Who Do You Think You Are?”, the series in which celebrities trace their ancestry, follows actress Julia Sawalha on her voyage of genealogical discoveries. She comes from a multi-cultural family. Her mother is English but believes her side of the family is descended from French Huguenots. Julia begins a quest to find her family’s Huguenot heritage, and then embarks on a journey to Jordan, her actor-father Nadim’s homeland. His mother was a successful and well-known businesswoman who turned her back on the Bedouin tribal way of life, and Julia explores the context of her grandmother’s achievements. Unfortunately, the programme is on BBC1 on Wednesday 25th October at 9pm, the same time as the terrestrial repeat of “Torchwood” on BBC2, but is itself repeated on BBC2 on Thursday 9th November at 7pm and promises to be well worth watching.
Born in London on 9th September 1968, Julia made her television debut in 1989 in the role of Lynda Day, the editor of a school newspaper, in ITV children’s drama “Press Gang”. She played this no-nonsense character for five years but has since become better known as Saffy in anarchic sitcom “Absolutely Fabulous” alongside Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley. Regular work was found, with Lynda Bellingham, in ITV sitcoms “Second Thoughts” and spin-off “Faith in the Future”. Along the way, she appeared in costume classics “Martin Chuzzlewit”, in which, as Mercy Pecksniff, she ill-advisedly married pop singer Lily Allen’s dad Keith, the current Sheriff of Nottingham, and then ill-advisedly married again, as Lydia Bennet, a year later in BBC1’s extremely successful 1995 adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice”. Most recently, Julia has worked with Alan Davies on latter episodes of “Jonathan Creek” but is well-remembered by “Doctor Who” fans for her role as assistant Emma, to Rowan Atkinson’s Doctor, in the affectionate 1999 Comic Relief parody “The Curse of Fatal Death”.