BBC1’s Who Do You Think You Are? ends with a surprising discovery for Mark Wright after he finds dodgy dealing and Spanish intrigue in his family tree
The lovely relationship between presenter Mark Wright and his grandad Eddie shines through in this fascinating peek at the Wright family tree in the last episode of BBC1’s Who Do You Think You Are?
Ex-boxer Eddie thinks they have Italian connections, but Mark (pictured above) learns they are in fact descended from Spanish Jews who didn’t live a million miles away from Mark’s old TOWIE haunt in ‘Marbs’!
His discoveries take a dark turn as he finds out about his nine-times great-grandfather’s brutal persecution by the Spanish Inquisition.
Back in Blighty, Mark is thrilled to find out that his great-great-grandfather Edward is a fellow Essex boy, but he’s less impressed when he learns of Edward’s colourful criminal record…
Here, Mark, 32, who’s married to Our Girl and Brassic star Michelle Keegan, tells TV Times what he found…
Michelle traced her ancestry for Who Do You Think You Are? last year, did that encourage you to sign up?
I’ve always loved the show, whether it was Michelle’s episode or anyone else’s.
But this is a love letter to my grandad.
He’s always cared about where our family is from, so to do this for him was amazing.
He’s loved hearing about it.
Was it a shock to find you had Spanish roots?
My grandad always thought we had Italian in us so it was a surprise.
But I found out that my nine-times great-grandad, Antonio de Mendoza, was tortured by the Spanish Inquisition for being Jewish and his nephew was burnt at the stake.
That’s hard to comprehend.
It’s almost a decade since you came to fame on TOWIE. Do you still pinch yourself at how your life has changed?
Everything I do, I pinch myself.
When I went to America [to be a presenter on entertainment news show Extra] I thought, ‘How have I done this from TOWIE?’
I’m just grateful and enjoying it while it lasts.