Press Centre

Long Lost Family

  • Episode: 

    7 of 7

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Wed 06 Sep 2017
  • TX Confirmed: 

    Yes
  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 36 2017 : Sat 02 Sep - Fri 08 Sep
  • Channel: 

    ITV
  • Status: 

    Last in series
The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing into the public domain until Tuesday 29 August 2017.
 
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 7
 
“I know there’s someone there, I don’t know who he is. I’m 73 Barry would be 72 now, I don’t want to go to my death not ever meeting my brother.” 
Derek Berg searching for his half-brother 
 
Episode Seven features two lives overshadowed by questions from the past: a man searching for the brother given up for a wartime affair, and a woman longing to understand the reasons behind her adoption. 
 
Derek Berg grew up in a Jewish family in East London, the only son of Freda and Kenneth Bergbaum. When Derek was 21 he married his childhood sweetheart Jackie but in 1965, when the couple were expecting their first child, Freda revealed to Jackie a closely guarded family secret. Freda explained that just 18 months after Derek was born, she’d had a second son, Barry, who she’d given up for adoption. 
 
Freda had fallen pregnant with Barry in 1944, towards the end of the Second World War. She was living with Derek in the east end of London, whilst Derek’s father, Kenneth, served abroad in the air force. By the fifth year of war 43,000 people had died from the bombing and millions made homeless.
 
Derek says “Being an only child you can be lonely at times. I had nobody, I would have loved to have a brother or a sister.” 
21-year old Freda was swept up in an affair with an Allied soldier, one of millions of American and Canadian servicemen who passed through Britain on their way to the front line. But after he left, she discovered she was pregnant. Then, Derek’s father returned home. Like many illegitimate war babies, he was put up for adoption. Kenneth ordered Freda never to speak of him again. 
 
Derek promised his mother he would not search for his brother while his father was alive. Less than a week after his father passed away, in 2014 , Derek threw himself into searching for his brother. 
Derek tried everything he could to find out what happened to Barry. But without Barry’s new adoptive name, he hit a brick wall. Now, as he approaches 74, Derek’s racing against time. 
Derek says “I'm part of him he's part of me, and if before I pass away I can find him I'd go to heaven happy.” 
 
Derek’s stumbling block was that he didn’t know Barry’s new name - so that was the first way we could help. We worked with a specialist intermediary legally allowed to access adoption records and we found Barry was now called Julian De Lange.  However, there was no trace of Julian living anywhere in the UK. Long Lost Family found that Julian had moved to Toronto, Canada.  Sadly, Julian was involved in a car accident many years ago which seriously injured his back. As his health has suffered, he lives half the year with his daughter and her family, on the outskirts of Philadelphia.  
 
Nicky travels to Philadelphia to meet Julian and tell him the news that his half-brother has been looking for him. 
Julian says “We have a lot of lost time to make up for and I look forward to it”. 
Davina travels to tell Derek that Julian’s been found and after more than 70 years they’re finally going to get to meet. 
 
Derek says “Unbelievable I was expecting the worst after so long I really was and it’s just unbelievable.” 
Julian makes the three and a half thousand-mile journey from Philadelphia to see his brother for the first time. Derek and Julian meet at a pub in east London, close to where their mother lived during the war.
 
Julian says “I feel really fulfilled and I’m going to enjoy my final years, I’m a happy man.” 
Derek says “I’ve found the brother I always wanted. He’s already part of the family. Now that I’ve found him I’m not going to lose him.” 
Also this week we meet Ann Smith who lives in Watford with her partner Steve.  As a child Ann was adopted by George and Jean Smith but despite growing up in a loving family, Ann was always aware that she was different. 
 
Ann says “I was never told by my parents, I never once spoke to them about being adopted.  Because of how I looked I just knew.” 
But as Ann grew older, life outside home became more difficult. Ann’s troubles at school made her question her past and who her birth mother might be.
20 years ago, Ann began searching and discovered her birth mother’s name for the first time – Denise Hogg. As the years have passed, Ann’s children have seen her need to find her birth mother grow.
 
Ann says “My biological mother, she’s the only one that can answer the questions I have now. Who she is and where I’m from. I just want to know the real truth.” 
When Long Lost Family took on Ann’s search, the only thing we knew about her birth mother was her name. We searched records for Denise and discovered that she’d married and had a daughter called Delina but that was the last we could find of either Ann’s birth mother or her half-sister. 
 
We searched for other family members, and managed to trace a relative of Denise’s. She hadn’t been in touch with Denise for years, but she was able to tell us that Denise now went by the surname Lopez and was living in Southsea in Hampshire. While we could see that a Denise Lopez had lived in Southsea – we couldn’t find a current address for her. But one thing did jump out at us - a Delina Wilson living in Southsea, with the same date of birth as Denise’s daughter. We contacted Delina, who told us that Denise was indeed her mother. But tragically, Denise had passed away just 3 months ago.
 
Delina also told us that Ann had more half siblings. Four of them did not want to appear on camera, but Delina and her older sister Julie agreed to meet Nicky. Julie is 54, a year older than Ann, and Delina is 52, just one year younger.
 
Delina says “We haven't stopped buzzing, we are really excited and really happy and we can't wait to meet her”.
Julie says “It's so sad and tragic that she's too late. We can't fill in those missing pieces because we didn’t even know she existed so it's going to be hard.” 
Davina travels to Ann’s home to reveal the news, shows her a photo of her mum and explains that Denise had more children who can’t wait to meet her. 
 
Ann says “I’m really happy to be sitting here looking at a picture of my sisters. It’s amazing. Just looking forward to speaking with them and sharing some moments about my mum.” 
Ann travels to Southampton, a city close to where her mother lived, to meet her sisters for the first time. 
Ann says “It’s great to know that they’re going to be there for me, and I’m going to be there for them. They’re my sisters and this is the beginning. It’s going to be fantastic.”