Mark Wright on the lasting impact Who Do You Think You Are appearance will have on his kids with Michelle Keegan

11 September 2019, 16:06 | Updated: 30 November 2021, 10:51

Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Mark Wright told us why finding out about his ancestry on Who Do You Think You Are? will affect his future family.

Mark Wright will be taken on a very emotional journey through his family history in tonight's episode of Who Do You Think You Are?.

The former TOWIE star looks into his grandad Eddie’s side of the family who were born and raised in the East End, but he soon finds out the Wrights actually originated in Spain.

And after his wife Michelle Keegan, 32, also appeared on the show last year, 32-year-old Mark told us how he's excited to be able to tell any future children they have about their family history.

Speaking to us at Heart.co.uk, he said: "I’ve always wanted to do the show, but the fact that Michelle had done it and I’d seen what had been dug out from her past, it gave me even more enthusiasm.

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"If we ever get to tell our kids - when we have them, which touch wood we do - she's got that story about her family and now so have I, so our kids are going to be very lucky that they’ll find out where their mum and dad’s family is from."

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The pair started dating back in 2012, and got married in a lavish ceremony three years later in May 2015.

Meanwhile, Mark was also inspired to take part in BBC One show Who Do You Think You Are so he could tell his granddad Eddie about his heritage.

The I'm A Celebrity runner up will be hosting a screening party tonight where they'll watch it together for the first time.

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"I want him to see it and be with me," he said, continuing: "I don’t want to tell him parts I want it to see it and be with me.

"All his life he’s wanted to know where we’ve originated from so this is a present from me to him chance for me to give something back for how amazing he’s been as a grandad."

While the research started in the UK, Mark soon discovered he has Sephardi Jewish ancestry and is the far-off relative of a master swordsman living in late 17th-century Andalucía.

After travelling to Spain to find out more about his nine-times great grandfather, David Antonio de Mendoza, the star found he had been arrested during the Spanish Inquisition.

He was then imprisoned in 1696 on suspicion of secretly practising his faith and tortured for two years in Seville before managing to flee to Amsterdam with his wife and children.

However, Mark learnt that David’s nephew Miguel returned to Spain and ended up being captured and burned at the stake.

Speaking about the poignant moment, he said: "It baffles my mind today still a few months after I filmed it.

"When I was hearing it, I was like 'how, why, just because they were Jewish?'"

"When you find out an ancestor of yours has been tortured and burned at the stake, it's not until that happens that you really sit back and think 'this world's crazy'."