In this week's Who Do You Think You Are?, James Bond star Naomie Harris star looks into her Caribbean roots
"I was asked seven years ago to be on it," Naomie told TV Times. "And I don’t think I was ready.
"I’d never been interested in my ancestry but when my mum gave me a DNA kit as a present and I discovered I was almost 50% Nigerian, it sparked my interest, so then I approached the show!"
First, Naomie heads to Trinidad and then Grenada on the trail of her paternal ancestors, who she knows nothing about.
She is horrified to learn that, after the abolition of slavery, her four-times great-grandfather managed a sugar plantation worked by "liberated Africans" who were in fact tied to contracts and unable to leave.
"Being from the Caribbean, you know you’re involved in slavery in some way," says Naomie. "But – it seems naive now – I never thought that my family would’ve been overseers, so it was a huge shock.
"But it’s a wonderful message that we’re made up of a multitude of different heritages, because you can’t be racist when you’re a mixture of so many things."
Meanwhile, in Jamaica, as she takes an emotional look into the roots of her beloved maternal grandfather Joscelyn, she uncovers a surprise on his birth certificate and another story of slavery but also hope as she traces her five-times great-grandmother, Elizabeth Leevers.
TV Times rating: *****
Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.
Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.
Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.
In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.
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