If Ray McVinnie's next cookbook is a weirdly Elvis-themed mish-mash of traditional Italian, Jamaican and Ashkenazi Jewish dishes, at least now we'll understand why: it's all in his DNA.
The celebrity chef learns he is related, distantly, to The King in last week's premiere of One's DNA Detectives. He's sent on an ancestry "treasure hunt" by host Richard O'Brien to meet some of his 800-plus DNA matches - people he shares great-great-great-great-great-grandparents with.
First stop: Tulsa, Oklahoma. Staggering around the city's streets, he wonders: "What the hell am I doing in Tulsa, Oklahoma?"
He's meeting Daniel and Sherry Presley, fifth cousins to Elvis, and now, they learn, even more distantly related to a bloke who used to be a judge on Masterchef New Zealand. "Are you familiar with the slavery and stuff we had in the United States?" they ask him. "I'm pretty familiar that, y'know, it happened."
It turns out McVinnie can also add Frank Minis Johnson, the Alabama judge whose rulings on Rosa Parks and other historic civil rights cases helped put an end to segregation, to his suddenly sprawling family tree.
When you get down to fifth cousins and third great-grandparents, understanding exactly how everybody fits together can be difficult to get your head around. Some graphics might help, but weirdly the show's only attempt at visual explanations are rough flow-charts hastily scrawled on bits of paper. But if trying to piece it all together proves largely futile, it's not really necessary in order to enjoy going along on what is a mostly fun and interesting ride.
A lot of the show's charm is owing to the inspired appointment of Rocky Horror Picture Show creator Richard O'Brien as the host. He pulls the strings from his fanciful detective's office with a unique flair, and injects a welcome dose of nerdy fun into the formula. Sending his subjects off around the world, texting them cryptic clues about where to go and who to meet next, it almost feels like a modern day, grown-up version of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.
O'Brien's other "victim," as he calls them, is One News foreign correspondent Jack Tame. "I've always thought my DNA background was just a bit boring," he frets before receiving his results. They show he is 93.1 per cent European - presumably that's what he meant by "boring" - but his ancestry still tells some fascinating stories.
His third great grandfather was a painter whose masterpiece hangs in a gallery at Yale University. He takes the train from his home in New York to see it, but the gallery is closed for renovations. Instead, he buys 14 postcards of the painting and proudly posts them off to assorted family members. His granny emails back: "Oh yeah, I knew about him - I just thought no one else was interested."
He crosses the Atlantic to York - Old York - where he meets a genealogy-mad woman called Kelly who estimates she and him are "somewhere between 4th and 8th cousins." He reckons they have the same eyebrows. She explains the results of his ancestry test, and points out a yellow streak in a predominantly blue graph, which she can trace back to an Indian in their shared lineage. His mind is blown. "No wonder I love cricket so much."
McVinnie's mind is being blown as well, all the way over in Jamaica. He's there to meet three women with whom he shares a third great grandfather. The trio of keen genealogists cook him some Jamaican ackee and saltfish. He seems slightly perturbed by the situation. He says: "If I'd known, I'd have brought my knives." He looks desperate to boot them all out of the kitchen and do it himself.
As they sit around the table poring over their combined forest of family trees, McVinnie gets some news from back home - the researchers have discovered that one of their shared ancestors, David McLean, was in fact a freed black slave. The women's eyes light up - this is genealogy gold.
There are no slaves in Jack Tame's lineage, but on the bright side, a couple of his ancestors were executed for highway robbery about 400 years ago. Comprehending our ancestry is like staring up at the stars in the night sky. "They all had stories, and they were all people with lives, and we don't know anything about them," yearns Kelly.
"I've come to appreciate just how ... insignificant ... all of us are," Tame muses. "Just how extraordinary 'us' existing as 'us' really is". He sounds heavily stoned.
McVinnie, meanwhile, has started seeing things. He sees his daughter in one of the ancient black and white photographs kept in a shoebox in Jamaica. He sees his sister in the pages of Aunt Doris' photo album in Oklahoma. He sees a man who looks just like him, but with a much bigger nose, in the back of a teaspoon.
As anyone who's tried it will tell you, genealogy can be a dangerous drug.