The BBC has released the names of the celebrity participants in the upcoming series of Wall to Wall’s Who Do You Think You Are?as the show celebrates its 20th year.

This year’s line-up includes Vicky McClure, Paddy McGuinness, Olly Murs, Melanie Chisholm (Mel C), Rose Ayling-Ellis, Gemma Collins and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill.

BAFTA and RTS award-winning actress Vicky McClure finds out the harrowing story of her great-grandfather’s experience as a Japanese Prisoner of War. Closer to home, presenter, actor and comedian Paddy McGuinness discovers his grandfather’s crucial role during World War Two and investigates his McGuinness surname in Ireland, discovering he nearly wasn’t a McGuinness at all.

BRIT nominated popstar Olly Murs heads overseas to Riga in Latvia to discover his circus performing ancestors. Former Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm (Mel C) unearths a political activist and the story of how her family survived the Great Famine in Ireland. Actor, presenter and disability rights campaigner Rose Ayling-Ellis unveils an incident which uncannily mirrors an episode of EastEnders, having taken place in a pub in Birmingham.

Gemma Collins meets a family member she never knew she had and discovers her Essex roots go back even further than she thought. Olympic gold medallist and former heptathlon world champion Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill travels to Jamaica, where she learns about her relative’s journey from being enslaved to owning his own land.

Simon Young, BBC Head of History, says: “This year we have a stellar line up to mark twenty years of the nation’s favourite social history series. Time and again it proves the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction, while helping us all to understand the history of Britain and the world much better, so it’s clear why our audiences have taken this series to their hearts. I’m so grateful to all the celebrities who have shared their family histories, and to the incredible production team that pulls it all together.”

Colette Flight, Executive Producer for Wall to Wall Media, says: “In our twentieth year on air, we’re delighted to be back with more of Britain’s most popular celebrities investigating their family trees.  As always, we’ve revealed extraordinary stories and moments from history that we’ve never told before, and the celebrities have been moved to tears, laughter, anger and joy learning about their ancestors’ lives.”

The new series of Who Do You Think You Are? launches on BBC One and iPlayer this summer. Produced by Wall to Wall Media, executive produced by Colette Flight and series produced by Lucy Swingler. The format is distributed by Warner Bros. International Television Production.

Jon Creamer

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