Long Lost Family: Man reunited with brother after 70 years dies before show airs
Tonight’s final episode of ITV’s Long Lost Family proved a truly emotional one.
The last episode in the current series focused on reuniting brothers Julian Delange and Derek Berg.
However, tragically, Julian passed away this week just before tonight’s episode aired.
Host Nicky Campbell, who fronts the show with Davina McCall, tweeted before the show: “Final #longlostfamily tonight. Sad news. Julian Delange passed away last night. He and his brother found each other after more than 70 years and became very close.
“The family have requested the programme goes ahead. We dedicate it to Julian who was a sweet man and a gentleman.
“I am proud to have known him.”
In tonight’s episode, we met Derek who had discovered his mum had a closely guarded family secret. Just 18 months after he was born, his mum had a second son, Barry, who she’d given up for adoption.
Derek said “Being an only child you can be lonely at times. I had nobody, I would have loved to have a brother or a sister.”
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.
Derek said “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 the show helped out.
They worked with a specialist intermediary legally allowed to access adoption records and 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.
Julian made the three and a half thousand-mile journey from Philadelphia to see his brother for the first time. Derek and Julian met at a pub in east London, close to where their mother lived during the war.
Long Lost Family airs on ITV.