Who Do You Think You Are? Series 5

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Adam Hills

Asher Keddie

Don Hany

Michael Caton

Lex Marinos

Susie Porter

Rove McManus

John Howard

Well-known Australians play detective as they go in search of their family history, revealing secrets from the past. Taking us to all corners of Australia and the globe are eight stories of individuals seeking to find the definitive answer to where they came from. Along the way we meet a fifteenth century Maltese medieval magnate and a seventeenth century British Royal Musician. We learn about harrowing tales of Australian nineteenth century mental asylums and child mortality, through to twentieth century Hungarian cold war politics and families separated by war and racism. We meet bushrangers, artists and soldiers. People who left their mark on Australia and their descendants.

This is a global story, with each celebrity tracing their ancestors around the world. They travel to the places where their forebears would have lived, loved and died, and learn about the hardships and hurdles their ancestors overcame. This is a fascinating chronicle of the social, ethnic and cultural evolution of Australia’s national identity.

Adam Hills


Comedian Adam Hills retraces the desperate journeys undertaken by his migrant ancestors, from Central Europe and Malta. With their families torn apart by war and prejudice, both his Great Grandfathers risked everything for a new life in Australia. He also discovers a medieval ancestor who made his fortune from a barbaric business.

Writer / Director: Claire Meech | Post Director: Steve Peddie | Editor: Roland Smith
Director Of Photography: Ian Pugsley Acs | Assistant Producer: Katherine Barrett

“ It just makes me really humble. My people before me put themselves on the line and went through some really dark times.” – Adam Hills, TV Tonight, 03/02/13

Asher Keddie


Actress Asher Keddie sets out to find the origins of her creative passions, discovering that she comes from a very long line of artistic performers.
These include an acting ancestor whose story shares eerie parallels to her own life, and a nineteenth century musician who played a part in some of the most significant moments of his time.

Writer / Director: Steve Peddie | Post Director: Steve Peddie | Editor: Beckett Broda
Director Of Photography: Ian Pugsley Acs | Assistant Producer: Cath Trimboli

“ ... as is so often the case with this show, it's an engaging, surprising and emotional journey” – Age Melbourne, The Green Guide, 04/04/13

Don Hany


On the trail of his ancestors, actor Don Hany journeys to the heart of Europe, to investigate his controversial Hungarian grandfather, caught up in a Cold War flashpoint, and uncovers a labyrinth of secrets and lies that still divide his family.

Writer / Director: Ili Baré | Post Director: Alan Carter | Editor: Beckett Broda
Director Of Photography: Ulrich-Stephan Krafzik | Assistant Producer: Matthew O’donnell

“ This show is always so fascinating ... Keep the tissues handy.” – Sunday Age, Melbourne, 14/04/13

Michael Caton


Actor Michael Caton has an iconic place in Australian screen history often playing characters of dubious repute. Could this be a case of art imitating life? Are these types of characters part of his DNA? To find out Michael will retrace the lives of his forebears, uncovering a family tragedy and an ancestor’s involvement in one of Australia’s greatest crime sprees.

Writer / Director: Russell Vines | Editors: Roland Smith & Beckett Broda
Director Of Photography: Ian Pugsley A.C.S. | Assistant Producer: Jessica Pradera

“ This episode of this popular series on multicultural broadcaster SBS makes for fascinating viewing and is heartwarming to watch.” – Sunday Mail Brisbane, Brisbane, 21/04/13

Lex Marinos


On the trail of his ancestors, actor Lex Marinos journeys into Australia’s colonial past to investigate an ancestor wrongly accused of a terrible crime. And in a one horse outback town he discovers that a revered relative is not all he seems.

Writer / Director: Kay Pavlou | Post Directors: Alan Carter & Steve Peddie | Editor: Beckett Broda
Director Of Photography: Ulrich-Stephan Krafzik | Assistant Producer: Cath Trimboli

“ This has been a particularly good season of Who Do You Think You Are? The quality continues in this episode about Lex Marinos...” – Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 26/04/13

Susie Porter


Actor Susie Porter delves into her grandmother’s mental illness, unpicking a thread that reveals mental illness extends further back in her family than she knew. Susie faces the past head on and in a deeply personal way, her family story charts dramatic advances in the field of mental health treatment in Australia.

Writer / Director: Robert Wilkins | Post Director: Ruth Cullen | Editor: Peter Pritchard
Director Of Photography: Ulrich-Stephan Krafzik | Assistant Producer: Katherine Barrett

“ a poignant personal journey and a fascinating – and horrifying – look at the treatment of mental illness in Australia over the centuries” – Sunday Age, Melbourne, 05/05/13

Rove McManus

Television presenter and comedian

Entertainer Rove McManus is in for a ride that will test even his famous appetite for the unexpected. Rove uncovers the truth that his beloved Pop kept to himself about his Second World War experience. He pieces together the shocking story of his Great Grandfather’s role in the violent frontier of the Kimberley, and the ironic twist of fate that brought him undone. And then there’s Rove’s own life long question – why am I the black sheep of the family, the only creative one? In the pages of a little book that’s been thoroughly defaced, he finds the astonishing answer.

Writer / Director: Victoria Midwinter Pitt | Editor: Beckett Broda
Director Of Photography: Ulrich-Stephan Krafzik | Assistant Producer: Katherine Barrett

“ Each of the episodes in this excellent series delivers something a little different but the best – like this ... leave the participant changed.” – Melinda Houston - Sunday Age, Melbourne, 12/05/13

John Howard


Actor John Howard follows his Grandfather’s trail through the horrors of the Great War, finding a promising military career ruined by a single regrettable act. And he discovers a kindred spirit, an ancestor who fought for social justice - all the time battling his own demons.

Writer / Director: Steve Peddie | Editor: Beckett Broda 

Director Of Photography: Ian Pugsley Acs | Assistant Producer: Joffa Hardy 

“ This revealing series bows out in a flurry of emotion as legendary actor John Howard delves back into his ancestry.” – Sunday Times, Perth, 19/05/133

Researchers: Diana Pepper, Kirrilly Brentnall, Linda Emery, Katherine Barrett, András Koltai
SBS Independent Commissioning Editor: Joseph Maxwell

The Who Do You Think You Are? format is devised by Wall to Wall and based upon a program originally produced by Wall to Wall for BBC1.

Format licensed by Warner Bros. International Television Production.

Based on the smash hit BBC series Who Do You Think You Are?, each episode will profile an Australian celebrity tracing their family tree.
The original UK series was created and produced by Wall to Wall Media.

'Who Do You Think You Are?' is a Serendipity Productions and Artemis International Production in association with SBS, ScreenWest, Lotterywest and Screen Australia. © Copyright 2012.

Format Licensed by Wall to Wall Media Ltd

buy now      Available on iTunes


"One of the best pieces of Australian- produced television to go to air this year"
- Media Week, James Manning, 27/09/04

"We welcome the return of the impeccable Who Do You Think You Are?"

- The Sunday Age

"A documentary that confronts, questions and raises many issues:medical ethics,personal choice and funding priorities - but none more so than the rights of the disabled, and of a mother and father."

- Karen Hobson, Canberra Times, 13/04/98

"… is full of emotion,heartache,frustration and determination."

- Melville-Fremantle Community Newspaper, 14/04/98

"… essentially a story of courage"

- TV Extra, 12/04/98

‘The filmmaker creates a perceptive, multilayered understanding of the young refugees’ experiences’

- West Australian


- Sunday Times

‘It is hard to remain dry-eyed as the schools multicultural soccer team sings Advance Australia Fair in the bus home from a match.'

- Sydney Morning Herald/ Melbourne Age

"... already acknowledged as the world's most exciting visual and physical theatre company...the reason to go and see Stalker is the way they marry jaw dropping spectacle with real purpose."

- Tim Marsh, London Times.
"Delightful documentary"
- Sunday Times, 01/07/07
"A sweet sign off for a lovely series"
- The Age, Michael Idato, 02/07/07
…."it is the irrespressible humanity, and often hilarity, of the couples that makes DKS such honest and engaging television"
- West Australian, Philippa Perry, 04/07/07
“Real insight into a pressing problem” 
- Sydney Morning Herald
“Engrossing TV to start the year” 
- Daily Telegraph Pick Of The Week
"A cut above the reality rest"
- The West Magazine, Helen Crompton, 18/09/04
"Sheilas" is suprisingly compelling viewing"
- Weekend Australian, Kerrie Murphy, 2 - 8/10/04
Such is the level of trust between Honnor, the film crew and the dolphins that some of the footage in Dolphins’ Day is thought to be a world first.
- The West Australian, Sue Yeap, 07/07/98
"Unique footage" 
- Sunday Times, Bruce Butler, 01/03/99

"This is engaging and entertaining telly that also has something important to say"

- Sunday Age 04/01/09
"Engaging and entertaining telly that has something to say”
- Sunday Age
"...the most thought provoking, moving, entertaining and enlightening doco series in years"
- Wagin Argus 18/12/08

"Set in WA, this is one reality series we all should watch."

- West Australian 03/01/09

"Continuing the superb research and empathy that marked the first series as a standout in the often lurid reality TV arena, the show is a valuable record of Australia's diversity and the harrowing and often inspiring stories of how many of our ancestors first arrived and thrived."

- The Weekend Australian

"Setting this documentary apart…is the effort it makes to humanise the poachers and explain the circumstances which compels them to hunt."

- West Australian, Mellissa Kent, 31/10/02
 "Televisual Gold"
- Lucy Belmont, The Age

"A dose of Reality TV without the hype"

- Weekend Australian, Simon Canning, 25 - 31/03/06
"A great concept"
- West Australian, Ara Jansen, 25-26/03/06

"All three groups of fishermen feature in Lobster Tales, an ABC documentary that will change the way you look at these delicious crustaceans forever."

- Sunday Mail, Brisbane 3/12/00

“The great achievement of Lobster Tales, a delightfully oddball WA-made documentary on the lucrative local crayfish industry ... strikes such a lovely balance between the lobsters and fishermen that it’s more like a well-wrought tragi-comedy than a traditional nature doco"

- Mark Naglazas – The West Australian Today 1/12/01

“Even for non-lobster-lovers, this quirky feature provides plenty of interest ... the highlight is the underwater photography by Leighton de Barros which is up-close and stunning."

- CYCLOPS The West Magazine, The West Australian Newspaper 2/12/00
"Wonderful new two-part documentary fronted by Peter Greste who makes a terrifically warm host and guide, striking just the right balance between the personal and the historical."
- Sunday Age, 22/04/18
“It's handsomely assembled and thoughtfully produced... this admirable production contemplates the cost of war and the high price of victory.”

- Debi Enker. Sydney Morning Herald, 16/04/18

"shows ordinary people doing extraordinary things ... the program usues the magic of TV to bring an important WA story to life"

- West Australian, Keith McDonald, 27/06/02

“Though it’s not easy to watch a widow finally open up about her murdered husband (nor is it comfortable watching local Iraqis genuinely praise Saddam Hussein), Salam Father is yet another reason why the terms "SBS" and "quality documentary" fit like a hand in glove."

- Jive TV Review, 23/11/10

“A sense of reconciliation emerges in the program and there's considerable poignancy as elements of a family torn apart by war, politics and circumstance are reunited…"

- Sydney Morning Herald, Doug Anderson

“This is the compelling story of a family torn apart by war, envy, corruption and greed and how a quest for answers also helped heal old wounds. It might also help people look beyond the descriptions "refugee" and "asylum seeker" to see the person and their story…A powerful piece of television, made more authentic by Ziusudras' first-hand narration of this tale.” 

- West Australian, Sue Yeap

"This documentary never becomes bogged down in legalese and is a compelling tale of one family's devotion to their son"

- Sun Herald

"A remarkable story and a clever and affecting piece of storytelling"

- The Age

"An emotional journey...unflinchingly captured on camera"

- The West Australian

Koori queens proudly get out and about in this high-spirited and affirming documentary."

- Melbourne Queer Film Festival Guide

"We get a rare glimpse into the world of indigenous gay men in tonight's Sissy ... an energetic, inventive and occasionally touching Western Australian-made documentary that looks at the lives of three colourful drag queens."

- Mark Naglazas, The West Australian Today

"Considering the double whammy served up by homophobia and racism, Sissy insists on having a good time while handling thought-provoking material."

- Mims McIntyre, Melbourne Times, 14/03/01,

[Shaun Micallef’s] quest to discover if there is ‘‘greater purpose than being a semi-professional Australian TV personality’’ makes for a funny and watchable journey.

- Louise Rugendyke, Sydney Morning Herald, 08/12/14

Filled with wit, warmth and revelations, Stairway To Heaven will intrigue even non-believers.

- TV Week, 12/12/16
This powerful documentary reveals a side to Shaun Micallef we don’t usually see - the Aussie actor and comedian is on a quest to find the very meaning of life itself... He is an inspiring host and an entertaining traveller.

- Sunday Mail Adelaide, Adelaide 15/01/17

"It's a compelling story and you made a compelling film out of it. Just terrific."

- Richard Walsh, Consultant Publisher, Allen & Unwin
“This is vital viewing for those that crave the whole truth”
- Ian Cuthbertson, The Australian
The Dreamhouse is, no mistake, a heart warmer and a tear jerker. But it's more than that... The Dreamhouse instead shows [the housemates] as people with abilities, flaws, hopes, desires and dreams the same as any of us
- Ben Pobjie, Sydney Morning Herald, 07/08/14
Every so often a TV show comes along that changes the way we think about others, about society, about ourselves. Positively, for the better and in a way that enriches the lives of everyone.
- Paul Kalina, The Age, 31/07/14
"It’s a fascinating insight into a world most of us never see"
- The Age Green Guide, Barbara Hooks, 10/04/03

"A fascinating insight into the world of the night"

- Canberra Times, 14/04/03
"A fly on the wall insight" 
- Melissa Kent, West Australian, 16/04/03

“Surprising, raunchy, hilarious, crazy! Expect the unexpected!”


"Puppetry most certainly is an art from and some of the performances here will take your breath away"

- The Australian, Ian Cuthberston, 23/08/08

“I have been directly or indirectly involved in WDYTYA productions in the U.S., Canada and the U.K …I must say that this one [Andrew Denton's episode] of the very best I have seen”

- Stanley Diamond, Montreal, Executive Director, Jewish Records Indexing - Poland, Inc.
Arguably its strongest line-up of celebrity guests yet
- The Daily Telegraph - Holly Byrnes 07/06/14

"...it's the most engaging detective series in years"

- Doug Anderson, SMH, 11/1/08

"... surprising, extraordinary and often moving" 

- Sunday Telegraph
"Outstanding, at times touching and very, very real"
- Sydney Morning Herald 5/10/09

"A compelling, lovely adaption of an excellent British format"

- Sydney morning herald- Sydney TV
"...is so elegantly simple it manages to compel almost without fail, never overstepping the human stories it is designed to tell..."
- Michael Idato - Sydney Morning Herald 20/12/10
"..utterly compelling.....revealed how powerful straightforward storytelling can be.... More please."
- Frances Atkinson, The Green Guide "The Rated , The Age 23/12/10
"...takes prominent Australians on an often complex, and sometimes unsettling, genealogical journey.... - has proven addictive t.v."
- Graeme Blundell -The Australian 18/12/10
“Their stories are revealing, sometimes shocking and always emotional”
- Feast Magazine 19/03/12

"One of the reliable pleasures of this series is just how great it looks. The production values are always first-class and wherever we are in Australia or the world, you can't quibble with the scenery. Who Do You Think You Are? is about much more than looking pretty, though, blending history and biography to create a package that's accessible, entertaining and educational. (FOUR STARS)"

- Melinda Houston – SMH, 25/03/12

“It's the perfect mix of history and celebrity..."

- Sunday Herald Sun, Melbourne , 01/04/13

"... this program has about it a quiet authenticity that allows the subject’s story to unfold of its own accord."

- Age Melbourne, 18/04/13

"The series is more than a peek into the backgrounds of the famous; it also chronicles the social and cultural evolution of our national identities via these celeb family histories. 4/5 stars"

- Sunday Age, Melbourne Critic's Choice, 01/04/13

"Each episode is essentially a feature documentary, well-researched and produced, and presented usually with a humorous or deeply emotional touch... This show is seriously habit-forming"

- Weekend Australian, Graeme Blundell, 06/04/13
This stylishly produced series is in fine form this season. Each episode combines the intimacy, and sometimes voyeurism, of observational documentary and the puzzles of the well-told detective story. It is a brilliant concept.
- Graeme Blundell The Australian, 25/08/15

This series is fascinating and so well done...
(pick of the week)

- Weekend Australian, Australia Lyndall Crisp - The Australia, 08/08/15
There are enough twists and turns here to make you think you’re watching an actual drama.
- Cameron Adams,Herald Sun, Melbourne, 25/08/15

"... explores the family histories of its subjects with class and humour. Verdict: A Hit." 

- Michael Idato, SMH, 31/12/07.

For information about availability and purchase of this production, please fill out the form below or phone directly.

Tel: +61 8 9228 2852
Fax: +61 8 9228 4517