Today I went to Who Do You Think You Are? Live at
and what a fabulous day it has been. Where
else can you find all the major genealogy websites, representatives from local
family history societies, companies selling all the family tree related
paraphernalia you can think of, plus experts galore, all under one roof? And what a gorgeous day for it: blue sky and
sunshine resulted in coats and jackets and jumpers being shed by the lorry load. Olympia
|The sun streamed through the roof at London's Olympia today|
This is my fourth year of visiting WDYTYA? Live and the first time I've ever visited on a Friday and at opening time. Is there always a queue around the block to get in? It's the first time I'd ever encountered one and my heart sank as I trudged further and further from the entrance. However it didn't take long to move down the line as the officials at Olympia had us all moving quickly through the doors and into the exhibition hall.
As well as talking with some very friendly and informative people, and splashing out on a few more genealogical supplies, I would have to say that there were two definite highlights to my day.
Firstly, the fabulous Larry Lamb in the Celebrity Theatre. In relating his experiences of receiving the WDYTYA treatment, he showed what a charming, charismatic and funny man he is. Several times he had the audience in stitches as he told captivating anecdotes about his mother or the programme's production team. It was a real insight into just how much the celebrities know whilst filming their story (the answer being as little as the programme's producers can get away with!). Consequently, I feel this was the best Celebrity Theatre I had ever attended. And long may Tessa Dunlop present these celebrity sessions - a genuinely warm person, she always manages to get the very best out of her interviewees. I doubt she had a difficult job with the lovely Mr Lamb!
|The wonderful Larry Lamb|
My second highlight was meeting one Mr Chris Paton whom I follow on Twitter. To me he's a bit of a genealogical celebrity himself as I've read many of his articles in magazines and follow his blog. He used his very impressive sales patter in order to persuade me to buy a copy of the latest edition of The Family and Local History Handbook. I fell hook, line and sinker and now have a copy sitting next to me on my desk! I'm looking forward to diving right in to its many articles and helpful advice. I enjoyed our small exchange - he really is a top bloke!
If I have one tip to offer it is this: when you arrive at Olympia, go to the gallery level and look down at the hall below. That way you can ascertain which stands have the wee bowls of free chocolates...
One last thought. I have straightaway failed on my promised remit of writing about ancestors and interesting historical folk in this blog. I promise that the next one will mention ancestors. Probably.