It was almost too perfect, and an absolute gift for the BBC.
Danny Dyer, star of Run For Your Wife, nominee for Britain’s Sexiest Soap Star and writer of the greatest tweet of all time, is the 22-times great-grandson of Edward III.
‘People are going to expect me to be related to criminals,” he said at the top of the latest episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, the BBC’s celebrity genealogy show. “But I’d like to freak them out and be descended from aristocracy.”
It initially did look as though Dyer’s lineage would mostly be full of rogues and scallywags, his immediate family history throwing up criminals and workhouses, but all that changed when he found out his 10-times great-grandfather Robert was landed gentry - as Dyer described him, a “proper geezer, as game as you like”.
It was when the EastEnders actor visited a descendant of his ancestor that he learned of his connection to King Henry VIII’s right-hand man.
“I can’t believe it, I don’t know what to say,” Dyer said as he left the estate. “I’ll say it again - ‘I am a direct descendent of Thomas Cromwell.’”
Danny was particularly delighted to hear that Cromwell’s father ran a tavern.
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