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Fans left in tears watching David Walliams 'emotional' Who Do You Think You Are? episode

The actor and comedian was exploring his family history for the BBC show

Francesca Shillcock

Monday evening's Who Do You Think You Are? on BBC One saw comedian and actor David Walliams embark on a journey to discover more about his family history – and it seems the episode was an emotional watch for viewers at home.

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The Britain's Got Talent star delved deeper into the life and career of his paternal great-grandfather, George Boorman, who served as a soldier in the First World War and fought in the battle of the Somme before sadly suffering shell-shock and then being admitted to an asylum.

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David Walliams appeared on the BBC show on Monday evening

While the comedian was visibly moved and emotional by the revelations he discovered, viewers at home took to social media to express their mutual sadness at the programme. One person wrote on Twitter: "Teary last night during #WhoDoYouThinkYouAre @davidwalliams's Grandad as a boy writing to his shell shocked father in hospital, 'Are you better, do you like me?' Heartbreaking."

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Another commented: "@davidwalliams just been watching your #wdytya, utterly emotional, I was sitting in tears, thinking how we treated our heroes. One of the best episodes I've ever seen. Thank you for sharing your family story with us, David. @MindCharity was truly needed then."

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David's paternal great-grandfather served in the First World War

A third person echoed these thoughts, adding: "That was difficult to watch, seeing these men shell shocked and sent back on the front line with no empathy. Heartbreaking."

David's ancestor spent 43 years at the hospital, before dying from heart failure. The Little Britain star said of his relative: "It's such a sad story. He looks proud and he's smiling, he has no idea what horrors are about to face him."

David continued: "There is one positive part to the story, and that's the paintings, because the paintings make me think that his life here couldn't have been terrible. He had a creative outlet and something that he cared about."

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