Jack Whitehall reveals 'my family is a long line of scumbags'

Greer McNally
Host Graham Norton with (seated left to right) Simon Reeves, Helen Mirren, RuPaul, and Jack Whitehall during the filming for the Graham Norton Show. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/PA Images via Getty Images)

When you think of Jack Whitehall you think well-spoken, foppish and funny. You probably don’t think scumbag. But that’s how the actor and comedian described his family on the Graham Norton Show last night.

The Fresh Meat actor was talking about the revelations that were unearthed about his family on Who Do You Think You Are? recently.

The episode, which ran on the BBC this summer, revealed some of the more dubious decisions that the family Whitehall had made in their past. This included an ancestor who opposed the Chartist movement to bring rights to the working class and a philanderer who gave his wife syphilis and ended up in an asylum.

Whitehall told Norton “My whole family was just a long line of scumbags as far as the eye can stretch.”

“Basically,” Whitehall said, “the question was who do you think you are and the answer was an arsehole.” He then went on to describe his instalment as “the worst episode ever”.

Whitehall’s father, Michael, is one of the most well-respected acting agents in the business, and often appears in entertainment programmes with his well-spoken son. He joined Jack in the Who Do You Think You Are? episode.

The comic actor joked, “throughout the whole thing my dad had a really blank expression and I said to him – you have to look more upset!”

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Whitehall joined Helen Mirren, RuPaul and Simon Reeves on the big red couch. Norton took the opportunity to gently tease him about his interview technique, as the younger comedian had taken over red couch duties for Norton over the summer when the Irishman had been away presenting the Eurovision Song Contest.

He took particular pleasure winding up Whitehall about what he called “his listening face” – adding “you weren’t listening at all, were you?”

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Whitehall was last seen on screens in Good Omens, the Amazon Prime adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s cult novel.