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Long Lost Family

  • Episode: 

    1 of 7

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Wed 26 Jul 2017
  • TX Confirmed: 

    Yes
  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 30 2017 : Sat 22 Jul - Fri 28 Jul
  • Channel: 

    ITV
  • Status: 

    Returning
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Series overview
 
Award-winning documentary series Long Lost Family returns to ITV for a brand new seven-part series, as presenters Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell reunite more family members desperate to find their missing relatives.
 
For thousands of people across Britain, someone is missing from their lives and finding them can seem like an impossible task. Using every technique, from DNA technology to painstaking detective work, the series traces people that no-one else could find, uncovering family secrets and finally answering questions that have haunted entire lives. 
 
With searches extending to Nigeria, Ethiopia, America and Australia, no stone is left unturned as Davina and Nicky bring families back together. 
 
Sadly, not every story can have a happy ending and there are some tragic outcomes. But even when missing family members have passed away, our searchers have been comforted by meeting other family members we’ve discovered. 
 
The new series includes many firsts, including the programme’s first deaf contributor and the first time we’ve ever taken on a search on behalf of a  birth father searching on his own for a child who was given up for adoption. 
 
Episode 1
 
Episode 1 features another first for Long Lost Family, a divorced couple searching together for the son they were forced to give up as teenagers.
 
Marion and James met when they were seven years old growing up in Catford, South London. Marion was raised by her grandparents and James lived two streets away with his parents. They started going out with each other when they were teenagers. 
 
Marion says: “We were really, really in love, first girlfriend and boyfriend, every opportunity that we could spend together we did.”
 
But a year into their relationship their lives were turned upside down when Marion found out she was pregnant. They turned to their families for support but James’s father was outraged, believing it brought shame on the family. Marion’s Nan told her she would have to leave the family home if she went ahead with having the baby. 
 
Despite their families’ opposition, Marion and James were determined to keep the baby and in August 1970, their son was born and they named him Andy. Unable to return home to her grandparents, Marion took Andy to live with her mum who lived with her partner and four young children in a council house in Romford. James visited his son every Saturday.
 
But when Andy was three months old, the council complained that the house was overcrowded. Marion could not stay there any longer, so she phoned her Nan asking if she could come home but her Nan would not take her back with the baby. Marion and James had nowhere else to turn and Andy was given up for adoption. 
 
Grieving the loss of their son, the teenagers continued their relationship and two years later, Marion found out she was pregnant again. Now 18, they were determined not to let anyone take their child away again, so they got married. Six months after their wedding, daughter Suzie was born followed by a second daughter, Stacy. 
 
James says: “If he finds out that we did have two children especially with Suzie just being two years later, I’d worry that he would feel resentful, I just hope that he will understand we were just so young.”
 
Marion says: “To give your own baby away, there aren’t words to describe how it feels. He’s still our son and we want to have him back in our family.” 
 
Although they went on to divorce and have both remarried, Marion and James are united in the search for their son.
 
With the help of a specialist intermediary legally allowed to access adoption records, Long Lost Family discover that Andy was adopted by a couple from Essex and his new name is Simon. After widening the search and trawling electoral roles in the UK, Simon was found, living near Torquay in Devon. Divorced with two daughters, Simon works as a web designer. Nicky goes to meet him to let him know that it is both his parents searching and reveals that although they are no longer together, they are united in their efforts to find their son. Simon is deeply emotional to learn that he has two sisters.
 
Marion and James are overwhelmed to hear the news that Simon has been found from Davina and travel to Torquay to meet their son for the first time in over 46 years. 
 
As he nervously prepares to meet him James says: “It’s all we ever wanted...all these years wondering, wanting, feeling shameful for what we did, it’s just a wonderful feeling.” 
 
Also this week, we meet Cathie Cutler-Evans, a woman desperate to find her birth mother after more than 50 years apart. Cathie lives in Chester where she runs a barbers shop and raises her three sons. She grew up on the Wirral where she had a happy childhood and knew from an early age she was adopted. When she was a teenager, Cathie’s adoptive parents showed her a letter from her birth mother Adrienne, thanking Cathie’s adoptive parents for giving her a loving home and asking them to explain to Cathie how much she loved her. It was a life changing moment for Cathie, who wanted to know more about her birth mother.
 
Cathie’s adoptive mum told her all she knew about her birth mum. Adrienne was 19 and single when she gave birth. She wanted Cathie to be part of a family so after caring for her daughter for the first ten weeks, she took her to an adoption agency in Liverpool. 
 
Cathie says: “Such a long time has passed, but I’ve still thought about her every day and the older I get, the more I think about her.”
 
Despite years of longing, Cathie was no nearer to finding her mum and had very little information to go on. Long Lost Family searched marriage records and found a marriage for Adrienne Powell in Cheshire in 1966, which seemed very likely to be Cathie’s mum. After searching under her married name, we discovered the tragic news that Adrienne had died in 2012 and tragically Cathie would not be able to meet her birth mother. 
 
Records did show that Adrienne had two other children, a son Mark and a daughter Ann. Our intermediary contacted Adrienne’s children with the news that Cathie was searching and received an immediate response. Mark didn’t want to appear on camera but Ann asked to meet Nicky. 
 
Married with four children, Ann lives in Bedfordshire. Ann explains to Nicky that she always knew about her big sister Cathie and that Adrienne had spent many years searching for Cathie hoping to be re-united with her. Ann is overcome with emotion when she sees a photo of her big sister.
 
Ann says: “It devastated mum, I don’t think she ever got over it... she used to write Cathie’s birthday in her diary every year… I’m so excited to meet her.” 
 
Cathie is told off-camera about her mother’s passing before Davina visits her to reveal that she has a half brother and sister. 
 
Cathie is overcome with emotion: “I know I won’t get to see Adrienne, but I can’t wait to meet Ann… I’ve always wanted a sister and now I’ve got one.”
 
One week after receiving the news, Cathie travels to Liverpool to meet with her half-sister Ann…