Channel 4 takes a stab at answering that question when it takes four stars' children back to their parents' roots in a new type of documentary, starting on Monday (August 5).
Jack Ramsay makes a pilgrimage to live in Banbury's Bretch Hill estate, paired with a local teenager, to see what life's chances might have offered, had he not been born into the life of a multi-millionaire celebrity chef, restaurateur and TV star - his world famous dad, Gordon Ramsay.
Other 'famous' children in the series are are Phoenix Chi - daughter of Spice Girl Mel B, who spends time in Hyde Park, Leeds; Bethany Mone, daughter of Ultima bra tycoon Michelle, who goes to Bridgeton, Glasgow (one of the UK's most deprived areas) and Ria Ince, daughter of Manchester Utd footballer Paul Ince to takes a trip to Dagenham in Essex.
Gordon Ramsay lived in a maisonette on Bretch Hill and confesses to losing his virginity in one of the bedrooms in the Channel 4 show. Ramsay has kept links with Banburyshire and has joined local football teams for matches. His son is no mean athlete, famously completing an Ironman test.
In the programme, Gordon describes how he got up at the crack of dawn to sort newspapers at a newsagent in Bradley Arcade and do a paper round before school at the then Drayton School. He also recalls learning the catering trade at the North Oxfordshire Technical College - now Banbury and Bicester College.
The four part series features teenage offspring of some of Britain's most successful self-made celebrities. Each episode sees a different privileged youngster sent to the low-income areas that their famous parent grew up in to see what life might have been like if their parents had not found fame and success.
Some media commentators and members of the public have branded the show 'poverty porn'. But Jack Ramsay's episode gives an interesting insight into life on one of Banbury's largest housing estates.
The Ramsay episode is the first in the four part series.
Channel 4 says the show aims to tackle issues surrounding privilege, class and social mobility, at a time when Britain is 'deeply divided and is one of the least socially mobile countries in Europe'.
Executive Producer Helen Cooke has said it aims to be an 'inspiring series' and 'compelling TV' which shows famous teens 'coming to terms with their own privilege', and looking at what it is like for young people growing up today.
Cooke also claims that it 'shows some of our biggest celebrities in a way you have never seen, through the eyes of their teenage children.
The programme is broadcast at 10pm on Monday (August 5).