Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Oxford Brookes Historian Dr Joanne Bailey helps Downton Abbey star Nigel Havers trace his family tree on BBC1's Who Do You Think You Are

Thursday, 25 July 2013


Dr Joanne Bailey, Reader in History in the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion, has helped a well-loved English actor to trace his family history in the tenth series of Who Do You Think You Are. Joanne uncovers the details of some of the Cornish ancestors of Nigel Havers in the popular BBC1 show Who Do You Think You Are, to be aired on Wednesday 31 July 2013 at 9pm. Nigel, star of Downton Abbey, Coronation Street and The Charmer traces part of his family tree to a nineteenth-century milling family in Boconnoc, Cornwall. Joanne comments:
It was a delight to contribute to the research into Nigel’s fascinating family background. I had great fun filming with the very charming Nigel on a sunny day in Cornwall, sharing with him the many twists and turns of the Couch family. He was surprised and moved by the information revealed by census returns and poignant parish records. It is very satisfying to take family history out of the classroom and relate it to real people today.