Christopher Eccleston claims his family history wasn't 'sexy' enough for Who Do You Think You Are?

Christopher Eccleston claims Who Do You Think You Are? dropped his story from the hit show because his working class roots weren’t ‘sexy’ enough for TV. The former Doctor Who star from Salford says he was invited onto the BBC One programme, which looks back over the family history of various celebrities, but was then dropped. The 55-year-old actor, who was born in Langworthy and raised in Little Hulton, told the Sunday Mirror that the project ‘went nowhere’ after researchers started looking into his family tree.

He said: “They tugged aside the leaves on those branches and concluded, ‘Nothing to see here.’ “Generations of working-class people dismissed. Individuals with their own hopes, dreams and stories.

Salford-born actor, Christopher Eccleston, with his father, Ronnie, who died in 2012.

“Not army generals, industrialists, vaudeville singers, but factory workers, farm labourers, cleaners, nothing in any way ‘sexy’ enough for TV.” Christopher, who narrates the hard-hitting BBC documentary Ambulance about the North West Ambulance Service, instead tells his family history in his new book I Love the Bones of You: My Father and the Making of Me.

The actor, who trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, is the youngest of three sons born to Elsie and Ronnie Eccleston.

Christopher Eccleston claims his family history wasn't 'sexy' enough for Who Do You Think You Are?Christopher Eccleston

His film roles include 24 Hour Party People and 28 Days Later and TV roles include Clocking Off, Jimmy MCGovern’s Accused and the ITV drama The Second Coming. In 2005 he was the ninth incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who. He says: “No doubt if someone like me had popped up in the dim and distant, all would have been good.

“But why? My father had all my abilities, linguistically, physically and then some. “I get that my life has been far more fulfilled than my father’s and those before him, but for me that makes him the far more interesting story.

Christopher Eccleston claims his family history wasn't 'sexy' enough for Who Do You Think You Are?Christopher Eccleston at the opening of the Institute for Dementia at Salford University

“What do I know of life?

I’m not driving stacker trucks all day at Colgate-Palmolive and then going to Bulmers and driving stacker trucks there all night.  “I’m not cleaning floors in a launderette like mum. And yet how often is the story of the working class ever told on TV?

I don’t mean the dross that is soaps.” Last year Our Girl and Brassic actress Michelle Keegan, from Irlam, discovered on the genealogy show that her great-great-grandmother was involved in the early suffragette movement.

Christopher Eccleston claims his family history wasn't 'sexy' enough for Who Do You Think You Are?Michelle Keegan on Who Do You Think You Are?

Her great-great-grandmother Elizabeth married Jack Kirwan in 1901 and their daughter Norah’s birth certificate was registered by leader Emmeline Pankhurst, who was a registrar for Chorlton at the time. The 1911 census also revealed Elizabeth had entered her occupation as ‘suffragist.’

In 2017 Christopher opened the GBP300,000 Salford Institute for Dementia at Salford University.

The centre is aimed at providing more support and hope for families touched by the disease after it ‘stripped’ the personality of his father who died in 2012.

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Ronnie had left school at 14 and worked for 25 years as a forklift truck driver at Colgate Palmolive, in Ordsall.

It was from his father that Christopher inherited a passion for language which would eventually lead to a career as a celebrated actor.

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