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Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace

  • Episode:

    2 of 3

  • Transmission (TX):

    Tue 24 May 2022

  • TX Confirmed

    Yes

  • Time

    9.00pm - 10.00pm

  • Week:

    Week 21 2022 : Sat 21 May - Fri 27 May

  • Channel:

    ITV

  • Published:

    Wed 11 May 2022

The information contained herein is embargoed from all Press, online, social media, non-commercial publication or syndication - in the public domain - until Tuesday 17 May 2022.

Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace

Series overview

Foundlings are people abandoned as babies, often in the first days and weeks of their lives, who until now have been unable to solve the ultimate mystery of their lives – who they are. Born without trace, with no birth record or name, they have had no way of discovering the basic facts of their identity.

But for over four years, the team behind Long Lost Family has combined genetic genealogy with DNA testing technology to try to help more than thirty foundlings unlock the secrets of their past. All are searching for answers to the most fundamental questions: when’s my birthday; where do I come from; who are my parents and who am I?

Series four of this BAFTA award winning spin off series features six new foundlings and some of our most poignant stories ever. Shockingly, half of those featured are the children of married parents – something no one expected to discover when Long Lost Family set out to make this groundbreaking documentary series. And four foundlings meet full siblings who are able to help explain the struggles their parents faced including extreme hardship, mental health difficulties, social taboos and racism. We also feature the case of Natasha who meets her full sister who surprisingly is also a foundling.

As the stories unfold, the viewer is taken on an extraordinary journey through twists and turns worthy of any drama, but presenters Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell reveal information with sensitivity and compassion and always with the support and expertise of the team of social workers behind the scenes.

Episode 2:

Episode 2 follows the story of one of the most famous foundling cases in recent years, Matt Butt, who became known as ‘The Ice Baby’ after being discovered in a London phone box on the coldest night of the year. We also feature Paul Garner who was left thirty years earlier in the public toilets of a park in Abergavenny, Wales.

***

Touchingly, 35-year-old Matt was left with a note presumed to have been written by his birth mother: ‘Born 6th January. Please look after me.’ He says: ‘it’s the most important thing I have’ and is convinced that, despite the freezing temperatures on the night he was abandoned, he was left to be found. Matt meets the woman who discovered him in the phone box. She recollects that she saw a woman watching from a distance, confirming Matt’s suspicions that his birth mother was looking out for him. He still wants to know who she was and what led her to leaving him.

By placing his DNA on an online database that traces birth relatives our search team find Matt’s birth father and discover that sadly, he has passed away. Although he wasn’t the parent he was hoping to find, Matt discovers some remarkable similarities between them.

Paul Garner always knew he was adopted and spent a happy childhood growing up in Wales but shockingly, four years ago when already in his late fifties, Paul first learnt he was a foundling. Desperate for answers, in 2019 he launched a newspaper and radio appeal that led him to find the policeman who had been called to the scene on the day he was found. Paul meets him for the first time and is reassured to discover he was left on a busy market day only a short distance from a hospital. But Paul says, ‘I still need to know my identity, and I need to know who my birth mother is’.

Incredibly, through DNA, Paul discovers that his parents were married and that he has older and younger full siblings leading to one of the most emotional and touching family reunions ever. Paul also discovers some amazing similarities with his birth father who like him, was in the army.