Who Do You Think Are? THE VERDICT!!!

I’ve decided to resurrect this blog (tumblr has killed off my sketch blog thingy and I needed to put up my drawings somewhere, alongside reviews etc, so why not use this jolly old blog again?). In doing so, I discovered that for some reason I’d chickened out from posting this draft response to my Who Do I Think I Am? post from last August. I think I probably thought it was a bit self-indulgent and unnecessary, but in an “Up yours!” to my younger self from 2015, I’m posting it anyway! Enjoy!



Don’t you know who I am?

So, after I wrote yesterday’s last year’s blogpost about the upcoming episode of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring the brilliant Derek Jacobi and his ancestors, who in fact ALSO happen to be MY ancestors, what did I think about the actual programme?

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to watch it in real-time, as I was down the pub catching up with my old mucker, author/illustrator extraordinaire, Alex Milway, mainly comparing notes on the pros and cons of bringing up babies (a dog in my case) whilst trying to focus on banging out children’s books (verdict: it’s a pain in the bottom).

But, on the train home I was able to catch up with people’s reaction to the programme on twitter, via the hashtag #whodoyouthinkyouare and the reactions were, er… interesting…

twit 1

Mostly, though, it was very positive…

twit 3

But sometimes it was a bit odd…

When I finally did make it home, I was pretty excited and kept thinking to myself, “I’ve been waiting 15 years for proper historians to check out this story and now it’s finally going to happen!”

It was nearly as exciting as finally getting to see Ant Man in his own film (Cor! What a year!).

The story was, of course, fascinating and Derek seemed like a really nice chap and passionate about his history. It was brilliant to find out that Joseph Delaplaigne really WAS actually counsel to the King, even if it wasn’t Henry IV and that he had in fact almost certainly attended Versailles. And there were connections to French high society, but from Joseph’s wife side, Salome Delabastide, a connection neither myself, nor my friend Brigit had uncovered, so that was fantastic.

It was also completely amazing to see the actual signature of Joseph Delaplaigne himself and that lovely coat of arms.


I’ve gone done a gif of the Beeb. Please don’t sue me.

And castle Loche looked truly formidable. I’d always imagined him sneaking out of a window and doing a runner, but obviously that was never going to happen in this fortress.

What was particularly weird was seeing Joseph’s name and his descendants in the famous Who Do You Think You Are graphics.

joseph tree

You’ll find me about 20 steps down…

Honestly, after years of staring at those names in my notebooks and on scratchy microfilm, it was the freakiest thing ever to see it up there on screen AND hearing Derek (I’m assuming we’re on first name terms now) pronouncing Delaplaigne in all it’s glory.

All told, I think my old nan would have loved the programme. The DelaBastide story and their high-falutin’ connections might have possibly offset the disappointment of not being directly related to Louis XIV. Probably (Okay, maybe not).

So, there you have it, the bizarre gratification of seeing your ancestor’s life being detailed on the tellybox. Another box ticked off from the old bucket list.

Now, all I need is for someone to string together the pieces of the story of my great great great grandmother’s murder in 1883… (not even joking!)






About Gary Northfield

Hello. I am the world famous cartoonist Gary Northfield. I am mainly known for my brilliant zebra drawings, but I also draw caterpillars and sheep.
This entry was posted in Family History. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s