COUNTDOWN host and Sir Alan Sugar’s right-hand man Nick Hewer, is the latest celebrity to trace his family’s background in BBC One’s Who Do You Think You Are?
“My mother’s side was Irish, so I’m the only one that I know of who went to London to make a career for myself,” he said during a clip from the episode broadcast last night on BBC One.
Swindon-born Hewer has fond memories of his maternal Irish grandfather and took part in the programme to find out how he – a Catholic – was able to reach the prestigious office of High Sheriff in Protestant-dominated 1920s Belfast.
Hewer believes that he inherited his business gene from his grandfather ‘Ozzy’, who left school at 14 and ran a little decorating business before basing himself in Dublin.
The search runs deeper on his father’s side as The Apprentice star goes further back in time to his nine times great grandfather, and discovers how the English Civil War impacted on his family’s fortunes.
Last night’s episode showed the TV personality visiting Belfast’s Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) as he searches through his family history.
Hewer (69) began life in Swindon, before attending an exclusive boarding school in Ireland. Afterwards, he returned to his hometown and then moved to London.
Prior to starring alongside Sir Alan Sugar in The Apprentice, Hewer managed his own PR company for over 30 years until he sold it in 1997.
The pair met when his PR company was chosen to represent Amstrad in 1983. Hewer became a trusted ally and confidante of the business tycoon and played an integral part in the management structure at Amstrad.
Other celebrities that have featured in the BBC series include JK Rowling and Jeremy Paxman.
Who Do You Think You Are? is available to view through the BBC’s iPlayer service on their website