Cherie Blair’s Family Judged Too Boring For BBC’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’

Cherie Blair’s family history was deemed “too boring” by genealogists researching for the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are? Despite being “thrilled” when she was approached to do the show, Blair has revealed the project was killed off because her ancestors “weren’t very interesting”.

You can read the details at

I have heard “via the grapevine” of similar stories in the past concerning other celebrities who were rejected for the U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are? However, I believe this is the first time I have seen the story publicized in the news media.


What do you think about it? It seems to me that people won’t watch the show if they feel bored by the results, so I suppose they have to be kind of hard-hearted about it.


At least the series, which I avoid like the plague, doesn’t now have to rename itself “Who Does She Think She Is?”


In 2009 the ancestry of Michael Parkinson, a UK chatshow host, was also deemed too dull for WDYTYA. He discussed it in the Guardian:


Going to the Huffington report, the comments are really nasty (so what else is new in commenters who think they are better than the people who make the news). I have never been impressed enough with “Who do you Think You Are?” anyway. Some of us “unfamous” folks have the most interesting ancestors. Still I feel sorry for her.


    You are absolutely right, Glowby. Some of us could tell some very interesting tales about our findings. I never watch the WDYTYA. It would be more apt, it seems to me, were they to feature one of us “commoners.”


A great opportunity missed – show that the majority of us come from good, hard working folks – who may not appear in the history books, or at the end of a hangman’s noose – but who nonetheless contributed greatly to the creation of life as we know it today. I have heard so many people make comments to the effect of “I always thought great grandma was a wealthy heiress, disinherited because she married the coachman/gardner/pool boy, I was so disappointed to find out they were just farmers”. Well, had those “just farmers or servants or clerks” not existed and carried on their lives as they did, we wouldn’t be here. Like I said, I think the show missed a great opportunity to convey this fact to the public.


Anybody wanna’ bet the next step is they’ll find someone that they’re dying to get on and they’ll change the facts to make them “interesting”.


She can borrow some of my ancestors; I have plenty of black sheep to go around! 😉


Ruth Fenstermann Tucker July 3, 2014 at 11:50 am

I have always avoided this show as I think they try to make it sound “too easy”. Genealogy research no matter how “uninteresting the family line” may still contain many “brick walls” along the way. I agree with those posting that the uninteresting ancesters still had an amazing story to tell. Would any of us want to change places with them??


sounds to me like lazy writers or ignorant ones, who don’t know how to present material in an interesting way.


I don’t ever avoid the show, whether the US version or the ones from UK, Australia, Canada, or wherever I might find it. Yes, it often looks too easy, and there are times when I can sit at my own computer and find some of the information as fast as they show it even though they are flying all over the world. I still love to see if I can learn anything new, and am always interested in seeing what they find. Now, does anyone remember which person had Salem “witches” in her past–one who was not hanged. I’ve just discovered some of my ancestors were part of that and want to try to watch that episode again.


Netzband, that was Sarah Jessica Parker.
The article is a bit misleading. I think Mrs. Blair was quoted as saying her own ancestors were too boring, not the show itself. They have many celebs to research, and hers wasn’t as compelling a story as others they are profiling for the same season, and only based on a scant bit of research. All of us do indeed have stories, but sometimes too much digging is required for the show to make it a cost effective venture, unless they find something right away in a pre-screen of someone’s genealogy.
I agree with another poster, the show does make some things look easier than it should. It encourages laziness in the armchair genealogist, relying on family trees on Ancestry for the grand stories, and not fact checking them against actual records (some of which you may indeed have to fly to another place to obtain – not everything is digitized nor will it all ever be).


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