'Who Do You Think You Are?' Season 18 — start time, celebrities, and everything we know

Who Do You Think You Are? logo Season 18
'Who Do You Think You Are?' season 18 features an amazing line-up. (Image credit: BBC)

Who Do You Think You Are? season 18 is here, and as always there is a whole host of celebrity names ready to delve back into their family history and see what secrets (and maybe even some scandal!) they can unearth. 

The first episode of the new series sees comedian Josh Widdicombe delve into his past.

Emily Smith, BBC Commissioning Editor for Documentaries, says: “We are very excited for this new series of Who Do You Think You Are? and for viewers to share in the extraordinary mix of personal celebrity histories taking us across the world, and which together reflect our rich collective history”.

Colette Flight, the Executive Producer for production company, Wall to Wall, says: “Who Do You Think You Are? is back with another line-up of Britain’s best-loved celebrities exploring their family histories across the UK, Ireland, Denmark and Jamaica. The incredible personal stories they unearth of their ancestors’ lives - from royal love triangles to labourers fighting for their rights, from Victorian child sweeps to battling fascists in London’s East end – reflect and illuminate all our collective history.”

Season 18 of Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are? Season 18 has a great celebrity line-up.  (Image credit: BBC)

When is 'Who Do You Think You Are?' season 18 on? 

Who Do You Think You Are? stars on BBC1 on Tuesday, Oct 12. at 9pm.

Once each episode has aired on screen, it will then be available on BBC iPlayer if you need to catch up. 

Which celebrities are taking part in 'Who Do You Think You Are?' season 18?

Ed Balls, Dame Judi Dench, Pixie Lott, Joe Lycett, Alex Scott, Joe Sugg, and Josh Widdicombe are all set to unravel their family history in this year's Who Do You Think You Are?

Josh Widdicombe

Josh Widdicombe

Josh opens 'Who Do You Think You Are?' season 18 (Image credit: BBC/Wall to Wall Media Ltd/Stephen Perry)

Josh Widdicombe is the first star to be featured in the new series. And it's not long before Josh discovers a link to Charles I, the king who was famously executed. Josh finds out he's related to a courtier who was in close contact with Charles. He then goes further back in time and unearths a love triangle...

Dame Judi Dench

Judi Dench in season 18 of Who Do You Think You Are?

Judi Dench will be digging up her family history. (Image credit: BBC)

Shakespearean actor, movie star and National Treasure, Dame Judi Dench unearths Danish roots and some intriguing Shakespearean connections in Who Do You Think You Are? starting with her father, Reginald - who never spoke of his experiences during the First World War. Travelling further into her family history, Judi’s investigations lead her to Denmark, where she discovers, to her delight, some incredible Shakespearean links. 

Ed Balls

Ed Balls in season 18 of Who Do You Think You Are?

Ed Balls heads to the HMS Victory in Portsmouth.  (Image credit: BBC)

At first, it looks like former Labour Politician and presenter Ed Balls will uncover a heroic story when he looks into the life of an assistant ship’s surgeon, but the grim reality isn’t quite what he was hoping for. However, he uncovers a more inspiring story when investigating the life of an ancestor who lived through the agricultural depression of the 1820s.

Pixie Lott

Pixie Lott in season 18 of Who Do You Think You Are?

Pixie Lott finds herself at Brighton Beach Bandstand.  (Image credit: BBC)

Singer-songwriter Pixie Lott hopes to find the truth of the family story that she has Italian ancestry from Verona, but the reality isn’t quite what she was searching for. She also learns of her great grandfather’s harrowing experiences in the First World War, along with discovering musical genes on her mother’s side of the family.

Joe Lycett

Joe Lycett in season 18 of Who Do You Think You Are?

Joe Lycett uncovers some family history at The Royal Haslar Village in Gosport.  (Image credit: BBC)

Comedian and presenter Joe Lycett manages to find humour everywhere, but he discovers a darker family history as he finds out that his two-times-great grandfather was a boy chimney sweep in the 1850s who later joined the Royal Marines and travelled the world, but struggled to process his experiences. 

Alex Scott

Alex Scott in season 18 of Who Do You Think You Are?

Alex Scott Alex Scott at Sandys Row Synagogue in London. (Image credit: BBC)

Pundit and former footballer Alex Scott learns about her Jewish and Jamaican heritage and ancestors that suffered tremendous hardships. Alex Scott explores the Jewish ancestry on her mother’s side and learns that her great-grandad faced down fascism in London’s East End in 1936. She travels to Jamaica to uncover history on the other side of the family and learns of tremendous hardship and suffering as well as some uncomfortable and upsetting history. 

Joe Sugg

Joe Sugg in season 18 of Who Do You Think You Are?

Joe Sugg at French Protestant Church of London. (Image credit: BBC)

YouTuber, actor, and Strictly Come Dancing alumnus Joe Sugg discovers a remarkable family history as far back as the Great Fire of London. He also enlists help from his big sister and fellow YouTuber Zoe to explore their family tree where the pair discover a great-great-great-grandfather who was involved in the earliest days of communication by telegraph and ancestors who fled religious persecution in France. 

Josh Widdicombe

Is there a trailer for Who Do You Think You Are? Season 18?

Not yet, but as soon as one is released we will add it to this page.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.