Emma Willis was left reeling after discovering that one of her distant relatives had an extremely violent past on an episode of Who Do You Think You Are?. During an appearance on the show, where celebrities track their family ancestry, the presenter discovered that her five-times-great great grandfather Richard Fowler tried to kill a blacksmith and his son in the 18th century.
In the episode, which will air on 3 August, the Big Brother host discovered that her relative stabbed and tortured a man and his son for information. Speaking about the revelation, she said: "That’s horrific. I felt quite sick when I was reading it. How can you defend doing that to somebody? That was exactly what I didn’t want to find out."
Emma found out that her ancestor attempted murder
The report of the crime at the time read: "They were knocked down and received many desperate stabs: naked, and bleeding as they were, they were then conveyed to the guardhouse of Dunlavan, and, on daring to complain of such treatment, were again knocked down and beaten in a most unmerciful manner."
Emma shared throwback snaps for the episode
Emma isn’t the first celebrity to have discovered surprising facts about their ancestors on the popular BBC show, as Danny Dyer discovered that he is a direct descendant of William the Conqueror and Edward III during his appearance on the show. At the time, the Eastenders star was shocked, saying: "It's crazy but the fact is that I am a direct descendant of royalty. A kid from Canning Town, and this is my bloodline? It doesn't feel real… To think that somebody of my stature, somebody from absolutely nothing – and his blood is my blood. I cannot compute it in my brain that this man is related to me, this wonderful powerful man."