Channel 4 has commissioned more episodes of the celebrity social history format My Grandparents’ War.

The second series from Wonderhood Studios will feature films fronted by Keira Knightley, Kit Harington, Toby Jones and Emeli Sandé, each exploring their grandparents’ stories from conflicts that shaped the 20th Century.

Filmed in historic locations from the killing fields of Kenya to the mountains of Monte Cassino in Italy, each star re-traces their grandparents’ footsteps and is deeply moved as they uncover the life and death decisions their family faced.

The first series featured films by Helena Bonham Carter, Mark Rylance, Kristin Scott Thomas and Carey Mulligan.

Piecing together their families’ history with untapped archive, historical records and family trees, testimony from the last surviving veterans and people whose own lives are inextricably linked to the stars, each film unearths untold chapters of social history and reveals the sacrifices all our grandparents made.

Commissioning Editor Madonna Benjamin says: “I’m delighted at the range of stories and calibre of talent involved in this series. As well as exploring fascinating moments in seminal historical periods, what this programme does like no other is to show audiences a side of these A list stars that we rarely see, sharing with us family stories and intimate histories that are both relatable and moving.”

The Directors are Francis Hanly, Tom McCarthy and Erica Gornall and Rebecca Fairbank was a senior producer across the series. The Executive Producers for Wonderhood Studios are Tom Anstiss and Samantha Anstiss.

Tom Anstiss says “It’s such an honour to collaborate with Kit, Kiera, Emeli and Toby. They bring real emotional depth, compassion and deliver a fresh new insight into seismic events in social history. Our series is packed with jaw-dropping revelations and headline-grabbing stories. From the most controversial spying operation of the 20th Century to the fight for independence in Africa, the stars’ authored films throw the audience into riveting untold stories of our recent history”.

Samantha Anstiss The team have produced a beautifully composed series with celebrities who engage with a compelling curiosity and real emotional candour as they uncover the incredible stories behind the pivotal roles their grandparents played in seminal moments of history and reveal their deep reflections on the human cost of war and its impact on generations.”

This second series of My Grandparents’ War is produced in association with MyHeritage, a family history website.   

My Grandparents’ War is distributed by All3Media International and has already secured pre-sales with PBS in USA, SBS in Australia and CBC in Canada.

Jon Creamer

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