Review: ITV's Who Do You Think You Are clone shows home is where Freddie Flintoff's heart is

Where do you call home? Is it where you were born? Where your mum and dad are from? Is it where you live now?

Friday, 12th March 2021, 5:00 pm

For Andrew Flintoff, cricket legend turned TV presenter, that question loomed large in DNA Journey (ITV, Weds, 9pm).

First seen playing golf in green and pleasant lands down south with pal Jamie Redknapp, Lancashire lad Freddie insisted Preston – the city of his birth – is where he feels most at home: “Every time I go past that [Preston] sign, I feel like I’m home.”

The premise of this banter-fuelled version of Who Do You Think You Are?, however, seemed to be to prove Freddie wrong.

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Andrew Flintoff and Jamie Redknapp went on a DNA Journey in ITV's new history show

Criss-crossing the country with Redknapp, the pair found that chirpy Cockney footballer Jamie had coal-mining forebears from Northumberland, while Flintoff had a Scottish footballing relative who fetched up in London, playing for Spurs.

That’s the journey bit, but the DNA strand was very perfunctory, as Flintoff and Redknapp had awkward encounters with various eighth cousins twice removed, few of whom could remember their shared ancestor.

DNA is weird, though. We think of ourselves as unique, but there are loads of us all swanning around with huge bits of the same genes – I mean, I’m related to Flintoff, if you go back far enough.

The really interesting thing was that, while Redknapp remained as anodyne as ever, Flintoff was passionate about his northern roots, a huge grin on his face when a historian told him his genetic make-up was 60 per cent Lancastrian.

This was a very slight programme, WDYTYA has been doing the same thing better, for much longer, but at least we can be sure that, for one of Lancashire’s favourite sons, Preston is home sweet home.

The Terror (BBC2, Weds, 9pm) is chilling in every sense – a terrifying tale set in the icy seas north of Canada, and based partly on a true story, it has quality stamped through its frozen centre.

I’ve had enough of Gregg Wallace. He’s been everywhere on every channel recently, and now Masterchef has returned to BBC1. I love the show, but I really hope they have a presenter turnover soon

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