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Long Lost Family

  • Episode:

    4 of 7

  • Transmission (TX):

    Mon 08 Jul 2019

  • TX Confirmed

    Yes

  • Time

    9.00pm - 10.00pm

  • Week:

    Week 28 2019 : Sat 06 Jul - Fri 12 Jul

  • Channel:

    ITV

  • Published:

    Wed 26 Jun 2019

The information contained herein is embargoed from all Press, online, social media, non-commercial publication or syndication - in the public domain - until Tuesday 2 July 2019.

 

Episode 4

 

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 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. 

 

Episode four is an hour-long  special following one woman’s search for her mother and, through the use of DNA testing, reveals layers of her family she never knew existed. 

Kathleen Fraser Jackson was adopted as a baby and grew up in London. At the age of three her adoptive mother died. Kathleen was then raised by her adoptive father and stepmother, until she was sent to boarding school aged five. After her mother passed away, Kathleen felt lost. She tells the programme: “If you haven’t got a mother, you don’t get loved. I realised that that’s how I felt my whole life.”

 

It wasn’t until the age of 14 that Kathleen discovered she had been adopted. In a meeting with a school counsellor, a piece of paper dropped on the floor showing Kathleen’s birth name and the words ‘adopted child’. Kathleen was shocked to discover the mother she had grieved for wasn’t her birth mother. 

 

She says: “Finding out I was adopted made me realise that, yeah, I’d lost two mums.”

 

Kathleen spoke to her father, who confirmed she had been adopted from a woman also called Kathleen. He told her she was handed over at West Hampstead train station at six weeks old, and that her birth mother was crying.

 

Kathleen adds:  “It was a bit of hope, you know, that maybe there was someone that cared.”   

 

When she was old enough, Kathleen accessed her adoption file to find out more. The file gave Kathleen an idea of her birth mother’s circumstances at the time. Kathleen understood that her birth mother was a ‘society lady’ who had become pregnant by a Jamaican man studying in the UK. It was clear that her birth mother had no support from her family.

Kathleen says:  “Her mother, my grandmother, said, ‘I’ll accept anything but I won’t accept a black child in the family.’” 

 

Kathleen’s adoption file also gave an address in Kensington where her mother was staying at the time. In the film, Kathleen visits this address for the first time and the owner of the house, whose mother owned the property around the time when Kathleen’s birth mother was there, comes out to see her. Sadly the house owner has no information about former occupants so Kathleen’s search ends here. 

 

The Long Lost Family team took up the search but struggled to find any records at all for Kathleen senior, so had to take a different approach. The team took a sample of Kathleen junior’s DNA and put it on a database. Amazingly, almost immediately they got a hit – a match so close it could only be a half-sibling. A woman called Alison Hargreaves, living more than 3000 miles away, in Canada. 

 

Long Lost Family got in touch with Alison, who revealed that, incredibly, Kathleen’s birth mother was still alive. At 87 years old she is the oldest person we have ever found. 

Nicky heads to Canada to find out about Kathleen senior’s life. She tells Nicky that as a young single mother she wanted better for Kathleen, especially in the face of social stigma of the time.

 

She says: “I wanted Kathleen to have a proper home with two parents and a proper life”

 

She remembers handing Kathleen over to her adoptive mother. She adds: “She looked at Kathleen in the buggy and the expression on her face, I've always remembered it, it was just absolute pure happiness.”

 

As she reflects back, Kathleen senior makes an astonishing revelation to Nicky. She says: “This makes me think about the first child I had, Jean.”

 

Kathleen tells Nicky that years before she had Kathleen junior, she gave another baby up for adoption, a daughter, also born to a Jamaican father. Nicky offers for the team to take on a search to try to find Jean too, and as the search gets underway, Davina goes to see Kathleen junior.

 

Kathleen junior is amazed to hear about her mum. She says: “Oh my god I’ve got a mum. I’ve got a mum.”

 

Davina goes on to reveal that it’s not just her mum who’s been found and that the team are also searching for a sister, who was also adopted, six years before Kathleen was born, and that this child also had a Jamaican father. Kathleen junior is overjoyed at the prospect of having a big sister. 

 

Because Jean was adopted, the Long Lost Family team use a specialist intermediary to find her. Still called Jean, she’s found living in Edinburgh, Scotland. 

 

Nicky makes the journey to see her and find out how she feels about being found. She says: “It’s been something I’ve wanted really all my life.” 

 

Jean reveals a striking similarity between her and Kathleen junior. She tells Nicky that her adoptive mother left the family home when she was three years old, so she too grew up without a mother.

 

She adds:  “I’ve always felt I’ve got a mother somewhere and this wanting her and wanting to know her, It was hard.”

 

Jean is stunned when Nicky tells her about her sister Kathleen. She can’t wait to meet them both. 

 

She says: “This is more than all the gold in the world. That’s my family.  My family I’ve wanted all my life.”

 

Kathleen junior and Jean make the journey to Canada to meet their birth mother. They decide to meet each other first, the day before being reunited with their mum. 

Kathleen junior says: “She’s everything that I would want my big sister to be.” 

 

Jean says: “It was one of the most amazing moments of my life.” 

 

The following day Kathleen junior and Jean travel to a hotel to meet Kathleen senior. They are both overwhelmed with emotion to finally have a mother in their lives.  

Jean says: “To hold her hand, that’s what I always wanted to do, just hold my mother’s hand.” 

 

Normally, this is where the search would end. But, before the team could close Kathleen’s case file, something incredible happened. The online database we’d added her DNA to, came up with a second match. Only this time it wasn’t on her mother’s side – this was someone from her birth father’s family. Kathleen knew nothing about her birth father, not even his name. The match led us to a half-brother, four years younger than Kathleen, Teddy. And Teddy was found to be living just seven miles from Kathleen. 

 

Nicky goes to meet Teddy, who tells him that sadly Kathleen’s father passed away two years ago, and that he’d never told Teddy about Kathleen. But Teddy is joyful that he can welcome Kathleen into the family. He says:  “My father was a family man, you know, and we just love family.”

 

Davina goes to see Kathleen junior for a second time, to tell her about this incredible discovery and to ask Kathleen what it means to have a connection to her Jamaican heritage. She says: “This is something that’s really deep. It’s like now I’ve got my own history.”

Kathleen and Teddy meet in a café in West London, and Teddy is able to tell Kathleen all about her birth father. 

 

Kathleen says: “What I’ve gained this past month, officially I have a family. A multicultural family that spans continents… I’m loved.”

 

Produced by Wall to Wall for ITV.

 

 

Series overview

 

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.