Who do you think you are? Sports presenter Clare Balding set to trace family history.
Clare Victoria Balding OBE (born 29 January 1971) is an award-winning broadcaster, journalist and author. She currently presents for BBC Sport, Channel 4, BT Sport and the religious/spiritual programme Good Morning Sunday on BBC Radio 2.
In this episode Clare has some great result in tracing her family roots as she unearths dramatic stories of secrets, tragedy, stupendous wealth and some remarkable stateside roots.
Clare sets out to discover whether the rumours of her maternal great grandfather, Sir Malcolm Bullock, had an illicit and of course illegal gay relationship with the British artist Rex Whistler. There have long been murmurings in the family, Bullock was rarely talked about and there’s a suggestion some of his letters were burned to avoid a scandal. Clare is intrigued by this. "Why would somebody do that, unless there was something to hide?"
What she finds is a story of a complex life – Malcolm was married to (and by all accounts devoted to) a young aristocrat who died young in a hunting accident – lived among the bright young things of British high society.
Meanwhile while researching her family roots for the show, she discovered she had a great great great grandfather called Joseph Hoagland and to her surprise, he founded The Royal Baking Powder Company in New York in 1866. By the end of the century the business was worth the equivalent nowadays of £3billion. Clare admits it was a shock.
She said: "I'd never heard The Royal Baking Powder mentioned and it's a pretty significant thing. They were loaded. You'd think someone might have mentioned it."