Ed Balls told about imprisoned Norwich relative on Who Do You Think You Are?

Ed Balls when he was appointed chairman of his beloved Norwich City Football Club 

Former Norwich City chairman Ed Balls is set to feature on Who Do You Think You Are? this week. - Credit: Steve Adams

Former Norwich City chairman and shadow chancellor Ed Balls is set to appear in an episode of the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are? detailing his family history.

Balls, who was born in Norwich, will learn about his family connections to a surgeon on HMS Victory and a relative who was imprisoned in Norwich Castle in the program, which airs on BBC One at 9pm on Tuesday, November 30.

The ex-Labour MP will also learn about his four-times great grandfather's involvement in radical protest at low wages for farm workers during the show, which has previously featured footballer Alex Scott, comedian Katherine Ryan and actor Daniel Radcliffe.

Balls said in a Twitter post about the show: "From a surgeon on HMS Victory, the horrors of a Kent workhouse and an 1840s 'Me Too' moment; to agricultural Luddism, arson in the Swing Riots and imprisonment in Norwich Castle - it's a bit of a rollercoaster."

He grew up in Bawburgh near Norwich, with his dad's family running a market garden and mother's family running a butcher's shop in the city, before Balls moved to Nottingham aged eight.

Speaking of the program Balls said: “Both stories they use in the film are the struggles of early 19th century Britain and they are intense and emotional.

"On my mum’s side the whole story is about Norfolk agriculture.

"But it’s complicated in ways I wasn’t expecting and we end up in Norwich Castle.”

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But Ed’s absolute favourite part of the research did not make the final cut. 

He added: “On my mum’s side in the 1860s, 70s and 80s my great great grandfather was a premier breeder of Norfolk canaries.

He bred, showed and trained canaries. He won prizes.

"To find out my great great grandfather was a Canary too, well before the football club has been established.

"For me that was easily the most exciting bit. I end up filming that standing in centre circle of Carrow Road.” 

Balls still makes yearly trips back to Norfolk to watch Norwich City play and visit his family.

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