Matt Lucas surprised viewers as he made his latest TV appearance. The comedian and TV star sat on The One Show’s famous green sofa alongside Jennifer Saunders as they both chatted about their latest projects.
While Ab Fab star Jennifer chatted about appearing in the joyous Sister Act musical alongside Lesley Joseph, Beverley Knight and The Greatest Showman’s Keala Settle, Matt had a slightly more serious story to share.
He spoke to hosts Jermaine Jenas and Lauren Laverne about his appearance on the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are, which aired on Thursday night following his One Show stint, and showed his family’s unexpected connection to Anne Frank. Matt found out his ancestor had lived with Otto Frank and his family.
This means that the Little Britain star’s ancestor knew Otto’s daughter Anne, one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust and whose diary of her family’s two years in hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands became a classic of war literature.
Following a clip, Lauren commented: “My heart was in my mouth watching you take in that information. That’s just one of the things you find out about your grandmother and your wider family story. How are you feeling about it now because it must have taken a while to process?”
Matt, 48, replied: “It’s a tragic story but there is happiness with my grandmother and the life she found. She met my [grandfather] and had two wonderful grandchildren.” Matt’s mum Diana, who also joined him on the BBC talk show, interjected: “And a wonderful daughter.”
“We’re a very modest family,” Matt joked before continuing: “But learning about what happened to her cousins, to her aunts and uncles is really upsetting. But the thing was I never knew their names and I never knew what happened to them.”
He explained: “There was a vague sense that she had family that perished in the Holocaust but I never knew who and how,” the comedian continued. “This documentary allowed me to learn that and honour them.”
And those watching shared Matt’s amazement at his family history. “Wow What an incredibly moving story. So very sad Thank you for sharing Matt,” @drb_diana tweeted. @AnneHarvey7 shared: “Matt absolutely amazing, what a brave family you come from. One of the best programmes I have seen and I am so glad your grandma came to Britain.”
@annaturley commented: “Thank you so much for sharing your family’s story Matt. Very moving and inspiring. May their memory be a blessing.” @Grovesy3 echoed: “Such a moving story, thank you for sharing what must have been very difficult to learn about.”
Matt also spoke about lighter subjects, such as the time he was housemates with Australian star Rebel Wilson. But during those conversations, One Show viewers were distracted by the Bake Off host’s appearance. @markt2606 tweeted: “#mattlucas looks like he’s lost some weight. Looking good.#TheOneShow.”
@JojoChampion said: “@RealMattLucas applauds to your weight loss. Watching you on #TheOneShow Looking fine!” @theproperKP commented: “@RealMattLucas looks for as a fiddle! #TheOneShow.” @LukeelkinsTV added: “Good on Matt for losing the weight but that suit looks 4 sizes to big #TheOneShow.”