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Long Lost Family

  • Episode: 

    1 of 7

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Mon 10 Jun 2019
  • TX Confirmed: 

    Yes
  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 24 2019 : Sat 08 Jun - Fri 14 Jun
  • Channel: 

    ITV
  • Status: 

    Returning
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Long Lost Family
 
“I just remember when they came to take us away. It was at night, there was a lot of screaming and my mother was crying. There were bulbs flashing in our faces as we were being carried out, it was just frightening. They took me to one children’s home and they took my sisters to another one. I never saw them again.” Christine Rose
 
In the last year over 4000 people from across the UK have contacted the Long Lost Family team asking for help to find missing family members. In this brand new seven-part series, Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell return and with the help of trained intermediaries, DNA experts and investigators from all over the world, they find people that previously couldn’t be traced and answer questions that have haunted entire lives.
 
The series will feature more extraordinary stories with unexpected twists and turns, including the first time the team have taken on a search for someone in the public eye, as singer KT Tunstall searches for her birth father and uncovers many surprises along the way. It also features Long Lost Family’s oldest ever searcher at the age of 83, who is desperate to find her daughter before it’s too late. New searches will take the team to locations including Chicago, Brisbane, Belfast and Canada. And for the first time the series will feature a missing person story without a resolution, by making an emotional appeal. 
 
The series kicks off by dedicating a full episode to an incredible story that previously hit the headlines, following one woman’s search into her past which reveals layers of family that she never knew existed. 
 
Christine Rose was born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire and is now 67-years-old. At the age of four, she was separated from her sisters in extremely dramatic circumstances. The three young girls were taken from their mother by social services during the night and Christine was sent to one children’s home and her sisters were sent to another. Christine never saw her mother or sisters again and is desperate to find them. She was eventually adopted but remained haunted by the absence of her sisters and began to question why the family were torn apart. After their difficult start in life, she’s always wanted to know what happened to her sisters and whether they stayed together.
 
Christine says: “I always felt lonely, especially knowing I had two sisters out there somewhere…I was always wondering where they are and what they were doing…I knew that we were taken away but I just can’t picture my mum at all.”
 
Looking for answers, Christine found a newspaper article from 1955 at her local library, featuring a story about her mother and why they had been torn apart. The article explained that her mother had been accused of neglect after an NSPCC inspector visited a house and discovered young children trying to eat unpeeled raw potatoes, with the floor boards having been taken out and used for firewood. 
 
Christine’s mum, Doreen, was found guilty of neglecting her three children and was remanded in custody.
Christine longs to find the family she was taken from: “I just want closure. There’s no blame, no bitterness, no nothing. I assume my mother would have passed away now. My sisters were so young. I really want to know what happened to them. I hope they were adopted together because I’ve had a decent life now and I hope they have.”
 
It’s the first time that Long Lost Family has taken on a search where a mother has been prosecuted for neglecting her children. The team learn that Christine was correct as hr birth mother Doreen died many years earlier but Nicky leads the search for her sisters and the team find a birth record for Catherine Mary, also born in Dewsbury and also adopted. Catherine’s marriage certificate shows that she is now living in Leeds and the team make contact with her and discover that Catherine is still in touch with her older sister Carol.  
 
Nicky meets Catherine and Carol together in a hotel in Leeds and learns that they have spent 20 years searching for Christine, with Carol explaining: “It’s been like an obsession for 20 years.”
 
Catherine and Carol were taken to a children’s home together in Harrogate aged just 18 months and two-and-a-half and went on to be adopted together. Catherine explains they have always been told that their father was in prison at that time but that their mother got back together with him and they went on to have six more children together. 
 
Carol says of their mother: “You can understand what a desperate situation she must have been in, it’s such a shame all three of us couldn’t have stayed together. (Finding Christine) is amazing. It’s like landing on the moon.”
 
Davina visits Christine to share the emotional news that her sisters have been found and remarkably, that she has six more siblings out there. Christine is overjoyed to learn that her sisters were adopted together and that they have been searching for her too. She travels back to Dewsbury to be reunited with Carol and Catherine, after 63 years apart. 
 
Carol says: “You feel a kind of love for somebody. It’s a part of a family that you’ve known you’ve got. At last the search is over.”
 
In a deeply emotional reunion, Christine shares her memories with Carol and Catherine of them being children together and explains their mother’s cries and screams when they were all taken away. It’s a huge revelation for Catherine, who always believed their parents just didn’t want them.
 
Christine says afterwards: “It’s just overwhelming. As soon as I’d given them a hug, all the nerves went. It’s just so nice to see them. It’s just letting it sink in. They are my family, you know. They are my family.”
 
Back together again, the sisters are determined to find the rest of their siblings and learn more about their mother’s life. Catherine’s adoption paperwork shows there was more to their mother’s story than the newspaper article found by Christine suggested. The paperwork shows that after having her daughters taken away, Doreen became a patient at a psychiatric hospital called Hatfield Hall. Furthermore, Doreen was pregnant on arrival at the hospital and another daughter Janice Elaine was born and then adopted just six months after the sisters were taken into care. 
 
The paperwork also discloses that after Doreen left the psychiatric hospital, she got back together with the father of her children and they went on to have five more babies together.
 
A specialist intermediary is able to trace Janice under her new name and Nicky meets her, now living in Scunthorpe. Now aged 62, Janice says: “I’ve been so lucky in life, I had a wonderful upbringing.” 
 
She has little knowledge of her birth parents, except for remembering her adoptive mother telling her that they had written saying they wanted her back, which was refused. Janice is astonished to see a photograph of Christine, Carol and Catherine and to find out she has a further five siblings. 
 
The Long Lost Family team use Doreen’s death certificate to search for more information and discover the death was registered by another daughter, Amanda. The team track Amanda down and she confirms she was Doreen’s daughter and that she lived with her mum up until she died. Amanda is still in contact with another sister, Lorraine. 
 
Amanda and Lorraine decide to meet their sisters away from the cameras but Lorraine tells Nicky on the phone: “We’re looking forward to seeing them and telling them about our mum. She’d be overjoyed about us getting together…She used to talk about them all the time. She told us that she had a breakdown and that she tried her best to keep them but the social services thought it was best to put them into care.”
 
Lorraine explains to Nicky that she didn’t have any the easiest upbringing but that her mum did her best for them and loved her eldest four daughters, often crying when she spoke about them. 
 
Davina updates Christine, Carol and Catherine together with the news that three of their sisters have been found and is finally able to show them a photograph of their mum, supplied by Lorraine. Davina also shares the news that their mother’s dying wish was for her children to all be together. As they prepare for an emotional first meeting with their younger sister Jan, Carol confirms: “She will get her wish.”
 
Produced by Wall to Wall for ITV.