Actor Ralf Little has traced his family's history as part of a popular BBC One programme.

Former Bolton School student Ralf, who is best known for his roles in Death in Paradise and The Royle Family, went to the hospital for an episode of BBC One’s "Who Do You Think You Are?"

The show, which aired on Thursday, followed the Oldham-born actor as he learned more about his family’s connection with the hospital.

Ralf, who was born and raised around Bury, met with historian, Dr Vicky Long, at the Prestwich Hospital site, where his grandfather Arthur worked as a "mental nurse" from 1939 after having first trained as a butcher.

Mental health support and treatment was significantly less understood and developed at that time and Dr Long explained that the Mental Nurse role was a physical, and sometimes dangerous, role.

The Bolton News: Ralf learned his grandparents met while working at the hospital Ralf learned his grandparents met while working at the hospital

She said: “ Its not the sort of job that you undertake training before you start, you don’t go and do a qualification.

“You start learning on the job. It was about making sure that no fights break out, or any trouble breaks out, on the ward. It was also about watching out for patients who might be suicidal.

“Mental hospitals were quite unique in British healthcare at this point in time in recruiting men as nurses.”

Ralf was also surprised to hear that his grandmother, Olive, had also worked at Prestwich Hospital, as a "laundry maid" and it is the site where his grandparents first met.

Ralf then visited the Orkney Islands to hear about Arthur’s experience in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.

Back in Manchester, he learned that another ancestor played a key role in the development of this great industrial city.

In a recent interview with the TV Times, Ralf said: “I’ve always felt a massive connection to Manchester. My immediate family doesn’t live there any more but it turns out I’ve got deep historical connections to the city.

"I couldn’t believe it. My heart was bursting out of my chest with pride.

"The connection is more profound now.”

Maintaining the family connection, Ralf Little’s cousin, Anna Campbell, also currently works as a Mental Health Charge Nurse at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH), which now runs the Prestwich Hospital site.

The Bolton News: Ralf's cousin Anna works at Prestwich Hospital as a Mental Health Change NurseRalf's cousin Anna works at Prestwich Hospital as a Mental Health Change Nurse

She said: “Our grandad worked at Prestwich Hospital, and so did my dad.

"So that’s three generations in mental health nursing.

“Unfortunately, our grandad died just as I was starting university to become a mental health nurse.

"But he knew I was pursuing a career in healthcare, which he was proud of. And I’ve been here for 19 years now!

“I absolutely love my job - it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I work in later life mental health services, for people over 65, and it’s amazing to meet people and support them to be the best they can be, and get the most out of life.

“My husband also works at the trust, and it’s how I met him too – so I really am following in our grandparents’ footsteps!”