Fiona Bruce: I felt under pressure to cry as I traced my ancestors on Who Do You Think You Are?

Fiona Bruce admits she felt under pressure to cry while discovering her roots on BBC show Who Do You Think You Are?

Many celebrities, including Patsy Kensit and Jeremy Paxman, have been moved to tears as they traced their ancestors on the genealogy show..

But Bruce, experienced at keeping composure while reading the news, was able to control her emotions - even though she knew the producers wanted to her to blub for the great TV it would produce.

But in an interview with the Radio Times, the 44-year-old says she was also put off by having the cameramen and women doing close-ups of her face, describing it as 'actually rather inhibiting'.

Fiona Bruce

Tracing her roots: Fiona Bruce refused to cry on Who Do You Think You Are, despite admitting feeling 'moved'

Wrapping herself in tartan for the cover of the magazine, the Antiques Roadshow presenter says 'Oh, you wouldn't believe the pressure there is to cry on this programme.'

While filming the series last summer, Bruce was being confronted with horrific images from the Burmese cyclone and Chinese earthquake, which she found more distressing than finding out her family history.

In the next issue of Radio Times, on sale Tuesday 20th January 2009

The full interview with Bruce is in the new issue of Radio Times, on sale today

She said: 'The pictures we were getting in the newsroom were so appalling they were unbroadcastable.

'There was one piece of footage showing this long line of Burmese children lying on a riverbank. All of them were fully clothed, all of them were lying there rather neatly, and all of them were dead.

'With those kinds of images in my mind, it would have taken an all-stops-pulled-out family revelation to make me cry.'

On the show, Bruce discovered one of her ancestors died in a Victoria poorhouse, while another relative suffered from shellshock during the First World War and later died upon returning to battle.

Singapore-born Fiona also went to the Scottish village of Moray to trace her father John's Scottish ancestry.

She said: 'All of a sudden, I found myself by the waterside at Hopeman, feeling very proud of my father.

'Considering he came from this limited environment, where your choice of job was fishing or fishing, he did fantastically well for himself and his family.

'He joined Unilever at the age of 15 as a post boy, and ended up as managing director.'

Bruce admitted she was surprised producers didn't decide to follow up her mother Rosemary's history in more detail, who was adopted as a baby.

Later in Rosemary's life, her birth mother returned to find her, which Bruce thought was an interesting part of her history.

Bruce said: 'They decided not to follow it up, even though the relatives were prepared to talk about what is, after all, quite a sensitive issue.'

• The new series of Who Do You Think Are?, which also features Rory Bremner, Rick Stein, Zoe Wanamaker and Kevin Whately, starts on BBC later this month.

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