Do you think you’re the King of England, Josh Widdicombe?
THE DECLARATION that actor Danny Dyer is a direct descendant of King Edward III of England was both the crowning glory and the beginning of the end for the BBC genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are?
Nothing would ever be the same, you reasoned.
As a result, following seasons unloaded all of the usual Beeb obsessions — slavery, trade unionists, Suffragettes — on some extremely bored celebs, who usually responded to their forefathers’ pain and sacrifices in the same uninspired manner.
During the 2019 edition, there was a break in the pattern with comedian Jack Whitehall, who, viewers were doubtless surprised to learn, came from a long line of huge bellends.
However, it wasn’t until Tuesday night that the show generated anything like to Danny Dyer’s family tree.
What Kind of Person Do You Think You Are? Josh Widdicombe is a British actor. An episode dedicated to the co-host of The Last Leg, in which I intended to learn more about how Zippy from Rainbow and a Cabbage Patch Doll ended up in his gene pool.
Unfortunately, it didn’t happen, but what we got was just as nice, even though the concert took a while to get started.
There were over 15 minutes of dead ends and false dawns until viewers met Henry Rich, Josh’s tenth great grandfather, who owned London’s Holland Park and was such a thorough-going royal creep that Charles I dubbed him “Groom to the throne.”
“Your ancestor attended King Charles I to the toilet,” Hampton Court historian Tracy Borman explained, “a position lost in so much indignity and flowery rhetoric that it required Hampton Court historian Tracy Borman to explain.”
“And I’d make sure he was in good enough shape to be brought before a public court.”
“Does that mean wiping…?” (nervous laughing)
“Yes, it does.”
Royal A*** Wiper to the House of Stuart was Josh Widdicombe’s forefather, who was eventually executed by Parliamentarians for his sycophancy.
An official post that, I believe, still exists today and is now held by Gyles Brandreth, despite Josh’s initial reaction: “It seemed like the worst job in history.”
Which is a little rich coming from a guy who gets paid to laugh at Adam Hills.
Still, it would have been a worthwhile hour if all we learnt from this exercise was that Josh Widdicombe was simply carrying on a family legacy.
However, this was one episode of WDYTYA that didn’t run out of steam, and the bombshells continued to fall from there.
We first learned that Lettice Knollys, Josh’s great grandmother x12, was embroiled in a love triangle with Elizabeth I.
Then there was the theory that he was related to Henry VIII through Anne Boleyn’s sister, Mary, who was… Brinkwire Brief News.