Una Stubbs is a cheerful presence throughout this opening episode of the tenth series of the genealogy show, although you can rely on her to shed a tear, too. The ‘Sherlock’ actress is perfect for the job: curious, empathetic and with a flair for drama, gasping as she’s told the details of her ancestors’ lives.
This begins with a great mystery: Una was never introduced to her father’s parents, and didn’t even know their names. Her search takes her into the life of her grandmother Annie, by all accounts a spirited woman and one with whom Stubbs immediately identifies. The other side of the family reveals an interesting famous connection, but it’s Annie’s story that brings the most poignant moments, including visits to former workhouses and a confectionary headquarters with a co-incidental link to the young Stubbs’s career. Future instalments will summon celebrities including of Gary Lineker, Minnie Driver and Sarah Millican to burrow around in the past.