Long Lost Family continues on ITV tonight 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.
In tonight's second episode, we follow two stories of people’s lives torn apart by circumstances beyond their control: Our first ever search on behalf of a birth father searching alone for an adopted child; and a woman raised in children’s homes longing to find her mother.
Andy McNicol lives in Walsall with Hazel, his wife of 45 years. Now retired, Andy and Hazel have devoted much of their life to fostering children but there is one person missing from the family album, John, the son who Andy had before he met Hazel.
Andy had met John’s mother, Brenda, in the 1970s. Two years into their relationship, Brenda discovered she was pregnant. When her parents found out, they hoped Andy would marry Brenda but Andy wasn’t free to marry as he was still in the process of a divorce. Sadly, Brenda broke off all contact with Andy.
After hearing Brenda had given birth, Andy went straight to the hospital to see the baby but was not allowed into the ward. He remembers looking through the glass into the nursery and seeing his baby son wrapped up, with his red hair sticking out. Andy never saw his son again and against his wishes, John was put up for adoption.
Andy says “I felt so helpless… saddest day of my life without a doubt... I want to tell him – I didn’t leave you, you were given away son, if I had my way it would have never of happened”.
The Long Lost Family track Andy's son John down, living on the other side of the world in Australia.
After more than 46 years apart, Andy and John are re-united just outside Bath, the city where John was born.
Also this week we meet Mary Davies, a woman longing to find her birth mother after a childhood spent in care. Mary was born to an Irish mother, Bernadette Sweeney, and had spent the first six weeks of her life with Bernadette in a home for unmarried mothers in North London.
Mary says “I was always the deaf child, I felt lonely and left out… I wish my mother had kept me as a baby… I want to find her.”
Long Lost Family airs tonight at 9PM on ITV.