Epsom-born actress Alex Kingston to trace family history in BBC show

Dr Who actress to trace family history in BBC show

Dr Who actress to trace family history in BBC show

First published in This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter - Epsom

Dr Who actress Alex Kingston will trace her genealogical roots on the BBC programme Who Do You Think You Are? this month.

Kingston, who was born in Epsom, will dig into her past and discover her "strong-willed and inspirational kin", according to the show’s magazine.

The 49-year-old actress knows her great-grandfather, William Keevil, died during the First World War, leaving behind a wife and young family, including her then four-year-old grandmother.

In the episode, Kingston sets out to investigate exactly what happened to William and discovers how his pre-war career as a photographer put him in an unusual position.

The actress has also heard rumours of Jewish ancestry in her family tree and her quest to discover if this is true takes an unexpected turn, leading to a story involving her great-great-great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Braham, a widow with young children.

As the actress delves further into Elizabeth’s life, she is astonished to discover the unconventional enterprise Elizabeth undertook to avoid sliding into poverty.

Kingston is the eldest of three daughters born to a butcher and his German wife.

After watching her uncle, actor Walter Renneisen, perform on stage, she became interested in acting and it is said that she was inspired to pursue a career in acting by one of her teachers at Rosebery School for Girls and performed in the Surrey County Youth Theatre.

After relocating to London, she completed her classical training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The actress, who was married to fellow Brit actor Ralph Fiennes, has starred in a number of television and film roles in Britain and abroad, including ER and Boudica.

Alex Kingston’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? will be screened on Wednesday, September 19, on BBC1 at 9pm.

Do you have any interesting genealogical stories in your family tree which can be traced back to Epsom? Contact Hardeep Matharu on hmatharu@london.newsquest.co.uk

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