Long Lost Family

Thursday, 31 May 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Last in Series:

For thousands of people across Britain, there’s someone missing from their lives. From the makers of the hit BBC family history series ‘Who Do You Think You Are’, ‘Long Lost Family’ returns to ITV1 aiming to reunite relatives after years of separation.

Presented by Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell, the series offers a last chance for people who are desperate to find long lost relatives. Our searches have uncovered family secrets and taken us all over the world, finding people that no one else has been able to trace and finally answering the questions that have haunted entire
lives.

Thursday, 24 May 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Fiona is a retired nurse who lives with her husband in Lancashire. She is looking for the sister she only found out about when she was in her thirties. 

“For so many years I didn’t know about Maureen, and I think what would we have been like had we grown up together, what would we have been like if I had met her at least. I just want to know her; I just want to meet her.” 

59 year old Fiona Dunn was brought up in Blackburn in the 1960’s by Edith and Josiah – a couple she grew up believing were her natural parents. But at the age of eleven she heard rumours that she had in fact been adopted. A few years later she was devastated to discover the truth behind the rumours. Edith, the woman she had been brought up by and who she had always believed to be her mother, was in fact her aunt. Fiona was actually the child of Edith’s brother, the man she knew of as her Uncle Bill, and a woman with whom he’d had an affair. 

Fiona was devastated by this revelation believing her life had been a catalogue of lies and deception. Over the years Fiona continued to ask questions: “Everything was brushed under the carpet. Any questions I had, things like ‘Who was me mum?’, ‘What was her last name? I was always put off. I felt a conspiracy because nobody would speak about it.’ 

The only concrete information she was given was that her mother had passed away. 

But the family secrets didn’t end with Fiona’s adoption. Nearly twenty years after this discovery, when Fiona was 31, her grandmother – the one member of her family she felt close to and trusted – told her the shocking news that she had a younger sister called Maureen, who the family had kept secret from her, for her entire life. Her grandmother went on to explain that Maureen was also the daughter of Uncle Bill whose affair with Fiona’s mother had continued. Fiona learned that, while she had been given up for adoption, Maureen had in fact been kept by their mother. 

For Fiona, this news was shattering. Fiona’s grandmother told her that Maureen was keen to meet but for Fiona, this was all too much. Consumed with anger and bitterness Fiona refused ever to meet her. 

“And I remember thinking I’ve got a sister and they’ve kept her but they’ve given me away. There was a lot of jealousy. It was a deep feeling of rejection”. 

Three months later, Fiona’s beloved grandmother died and at her funeral Fiona caught a glimpse of Maureen – it is the one and only time she has ever seen her. 

“I just glanced up and noticed this girl at the back of the church. And for that fleeting second I thought, ‘Ooh she looks like me’. That’s all I saw of her. We didn’t speak or say Hiya or nothing.” 

Nearly 30 years have passed since then and Fiona has lived a happy life working as a nurse and as a foster mother to three children but she has never forgotten about Maureen or the fact that that moment at her grandmother’s funeral may have been her only opportunity to meet her little sister and she did nothing: 

“It’s all a case of, If only, if only I’d have gone to meet her. It’s sad because we’ve lost so many years of our lives that we could have perhaps had fun with.’ 

With the information we were given, we were able to trace Fiona’s sister Maureen to Preston – less than ten miles from where Fiona lives. Nicky Campbell goes to meet her. 

Maureen is thrilled to have been found and explains to Nicky that she found out about Fiona’s existence when she turned 21. When she discovered she had an older sister she was delighted but has always felt guilty that she was kept by their mother whereas Fiona was given away. 

She remembers that moment at their grandmother’s funeral but has always accepted that Fiona had every right to turn her back on her. 

Maureen has always hoped one day they would meet. 

But during Nicky’s conversation another amazing piece of information comes out: Fiona and Maureen’s mother Pat, is still alive. 

Maureen goes on to explain that when Pat became pregnant with Fiona, her mother told her she had to give the baby away. Faced with being cast out by her family Pat gave in to her mother’s demands and persuaded Bill’s sister Edith to take the child. Pat was never allowed to see her again. 

Davina travels to Fiona’s house to give Fiona the news. First that her sister has been found and wants to meet, and second, the incredible piece of news that Fiona’s mother Pat, is still alive and incredibly happy that she too will finally see her daughter. 

A reunion is arranged between Fiona and Maureen at a nearby hotel. The sisters are the spitting image of one another – with different colour hair. 

For Fiona, it is the moment when all her years of anger, resentment and bitterness disappear and the start of what she hopes will be a friendship and sisterly relationship.

Thursday, 17 May 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

This week on Long Lost family, we search on behalf of a woman who only discovered she was adopted at the age of eleven. 

And our most urgent search yet, a son’s search for his father who he longs to have standing by his side when he marries in one week. 

Bradlee Allen from South East London has turned to us as a last resort to find his father Malcolm who was absent throughout much of his childhood. The last time Bradlee saw his dad was over ten years ago when, at the age of fourteen, he slammed the door in his face telling him he had no interest in anything he had to offer.

This moment is one of only two memories Bradlee has of his father. 

But back then, the troubled teenager was grieving for his beloved grandmother who had recently died and struggling to cope with the prejudices he faced as a mixed race child in a predominately white neighbourhood. 

His father’s sudden reappearance in his life couldn’t have come at a worse time. Now, with just a week to go before he marries his teenage sweetheart , Bradlee is desperate to find him. To make amends for that moment when he turned him away and, to share with him, the most important day of his life. 

And the story of Bridget Eyles from Saffron Walden who discovered she was adopted at the age of eleven when being introduced to her housemaster at her new boarding school. 

When Bridget’s mother let it slip in conversation, it was news to her but all of a sudden things she had always felt began to make sense. 

Even at that young age she had felt different from the rest of her family but never suspected the reason. Since that day Bridget has longed to know her birth mother and find the blueprint that made her, but ten years of searching has produced nothing. 

Watch this week to see if we are able to reunite Bridget with her long lost family; and discover whether Bradley finds his dad in time for his big day. 

Thursday, 3 May 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

For thousands of people across Britain, there’s someone missing from their lives. From the makers of the hit BBC family history series ‘Who Do You Think You Are’, ‘Long Lost Family’ returns to ITV1 aiming to reunite relatives after years of separation. 

Presented by Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell, the series offers a last chance for people who are desperate to find long lost relatives. Our searches have uncovered family secrets and taken us all over the world, finding people that no one else has been able to trace and finally answering the questions that have haunted entire lives.

Thursday, 26 April 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Episode Three 

Peter Arundel and Elsie Brockbank 

58-year-old grandfather Peter Arundel has devoted his life to bringing up his family. Given up for adoption when he was six weeks old, the identity of Peter’s birth mother has always been a mystery to him. He has spent over 20 searching for her and over the years his desire to find her has only intensified. “Family is everything. And I need to find mine now,” Peter tells Long Lost Family. 

Thursday, 19 April 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Maureen and Michael 

Maureen, a 55-year-old grandmother from Stockton on Tees, has been desperately searching for her elder brother Michael who disappeared with no explanation when she was just 14-years-old. She is anxious for her three children and five grandchildren to know their uncle, the brother she adored. 

Maureen recalls: “He was always there for me. If I was ever upset it 

was Michael who sorted me out. I adored him, I looked up to him.” 

When Michael told his parents he was gay, the shame was too much for them to bear and he was slowly pushed out of the family. 

Maureen vividly remembers the day Michael left home. She returned home from school to a family argument, and when she asked where her eldest brother was, her mother told her he had gone and she never wanted to hear his name mentioned in the house again. No matter how many times Maureen questioned her parents and two brothers, no-one would explain why Michael had left. 

“I thought he’d stolen something or been in trouble with the police and I said to my Mam, he’s committed murder hasn’t he?” 

Michael’s sudden disappearance would haunt Maureen for the next four decades. Although her brother tried many times to stay in touch, his efforts were always rejected, usually by his mother. As Maureen recalls: “My dad was a very quiet, placid man and my mum was the one who laid the law down.” 

It was only after her mother’s death five years ago that a horrified Maureen discovered the shocking truth about what had really happened to Michael. “For 40 years my brother has been living a separate life for being gay. That is a pathetic excuse to disown anybody. If I’d been older and had known what was going on, I would have stood by him. He must have been devastated.” 

After her mother’s funeral, Maureen began searching for Michael in earnest, although she had no clue where he might be living. She carried out numerous searches and even involved the international police, but made little progress. Searches undertaken by Long Lost Family eventually traced Michael. 

Now 62, he has spent his life working as a chef, working for a few years in Bermuda at a 5 star restaurant before returning to the UK to live in Brighton. Nicky travels to Brighton to tell Michael his sister has been desperately trying to track him down. On hearing the news, a tearful Michael tells Nicky, “I’m over the moon. It’s absolutely thrown me after all this time.” 

Michael reveals the hurt he has suffered over the years and tells Nicky that Christmas alone was always the hardest time. “I used to phone home on Christmas Day from Bermuda. The phone would get picked up and then put down if my mam answered so in the end I put the shutters up – it was the only way I could deal with it.” 

Davina breaks the news to an ecstatic Maureen that her brother has been found alive and well. A reunion is arranged for the very next day in the seaside resort of Redcar, where Michael and Maureen used to go as children. It’s the first time Michael has been back there in over 40 years. 

“It’s overwhelming to think I’m actually going to meet my brother again. I’m releasing the pent up anger I felt for my Mam, I’m just letting it go, I’m not even going to think of her anymore. My concern is just getting Michael back in my life.” 

As an emotional Maureen and Michael meet for the first time in 40 years, they both hug tightly and shed tears of joy. 

Afterwards, Maureen recalls what was going through her mind before the reunion. “Is he going to look at me and think, ‘Oh My God, she’s just like mother’? But it wasn’t like that, we just fell into each other’s arms and sobbed. It’s like the 40 years just evaporated.” 

As Maureen shows her brother pictures of the nieces he has never met, Michael says, “We’ve missed out on so much of each other’s lives and now we can just build on it and have a new relationship. I’m really, really over the moon.” 

Thursday, 12 April 2012, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

DAVINA MCCALL and NICKY CAMPBELL return to ITV1 to present a brand new series of Long Lost Family, the show which traces and reunites family members who have been separated for most of their lives. 

Series two presents seve nheart-warming new episodes, helping relatives reunite with the loved ones they have been desperately searching for in vain for many years. 

With the help and support of Davina and Nicky, each relative is guided through the exhaustive and emotional process of tracing the loved one they are so anxious to find. The searches often take unpredictable turns and series two sees Nicky journey to South Africa, Texas, France and Spain to bring families together again. 

On returning for a new series, Davina McCall said: “I’m over the moon to be back helping to reunite even more families. If you thought Series One was emotional, you’ve not seen anything yet. The stories we’ve unearthed this time round will tug at your heart-strings like never before. Get ready to start stockpiling those tissues!” 

Featuring 14 stories (two per episode); we follow the woman searching for the brother she hasn’t seen since he was thrown out of the family home over 40 years ago. Other heart-rending accounts tell the story of the ex-rugby professional desperately searching for the mother who gave him up for adoption as a baby and the young woman who wants to trace the father she last saw at the age of five. 

ITV1 viewers are taken on a moving journey throughout, from the revealing moment relatives are told their mother, father, brother or sister has been traced, to the emotional moment of their reunion, a moment they may have only ever dreamed of. Long Lost Family explores the social context of each family’s estrangement and the often complex and heart-breaking factors contributing to their separation. 

Many of the people featured in the series were adopted or gave children up for adoption when they were younger. During production of Long Lost Family, producers Wall to Wall worked closely with adoption expert Ariel Bruce – a leading independent social worker, Adoption Support Agency and search specialist. The protocol devised and worked to throughout the making of Long Lost Family complied with current adoption legislation and was modelled on the protocols and best practice that leading Ofsted-inspected Adoption Support Agencies work to when searching for, contacting, reuniting and supporting adopted people and birth relatives. 

Adoption is personal territory for Nicky Campbell, who was adopted as a child, before searching for and being reunited with his birth mother and father as an adult. Nicky is a patron of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering. 

Thursday, 26 May 2011, 9:00PM – 10:00PM

Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell present this new documentary series which traces and reunites long lost family members. 

The series helps relatives, some of whom have been searching in vain for many years, find the family members they are desperately seeking. Long Lost Family explores the background and context of each family’s estrangement and tracks the detective work and often complex and emotional process of finding each lost relative before they are reunited. 

In episode 6 the programme tells of two heart warming stories. The first is 

Carol Davies who’s father separated from her mother when she was a baby and remarried. She thought he had forgotten about her until he turned up at her house when Carol was 14 with his new family, but this was the last time Carol saw her father and her half brother and sister, Keith and Lynn. She has been searching for them but unfortunately her father passed away. However the Long Lost Family team tracked down her lost siblings and reunite Carol with Keith and Lynn and Carol discovers she has another sister Olwen. 

The second story explains that Samantha’s father disappeared from her life when she was just 4 years old. She has no idea what happened to him, what kind of man he is or even what he looks like. Samantha was a mixed race girl growing up in a white family and is desperate to find her father to make sense of her Jamaican heritage and to feel that she belongs. 

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