Long Lost Family is back for 2021 with a brand new series.
Presenters Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell reunite more family members with their missing loved ones in five new episodes.
With help from a team of trained intermediaries, DNA experts and investigators, Nicky and Davina find people that previously couldn’t be traced and answer questions that have haunted entire lives. And, at a time of international crisis which has seen many people experience separation from loved ones, these reunions have more poignancy than ever.
Episodes will air Mondays at 9PM on ITV from 18 January 2021. You'll also be able to watch online and catch up via ITV Hub.
The series has five episodes, ending on 15 February.
Long Lost Family episodes 2021
Episode 1 - 18 January
The series starts with two heart breaking stories of separation: a mother and father who, having fought in vain to get their son back through the courts, have lived with a lifetime of loss; and a son’s search for his birth mother, who disappeared from his life when he was a baby.
Phyllis and Kevin Haran contacted Long Lost Family after more than forty years searching for their first-born son. The couple fell in love as teenagers in Ireland in the 1970s and a couple of months into their relationship, Phyllis became pregnant. Aware of the scandal this would cause within their Catholic community, they hatched a plan to run away to England to bring up their baby.
But, in London, their landlady discovered they were keeping a baby in their flat and gave them less than 24 hours to get out. Homeless, jobless and desperate to put their baby’s interests first, they agreed through an agency to place their son in the care of a family, with the possibility of adoption if they couldn’t find their feet.
Episode 2 - 25 January
This week features two stories of missing relatives found much closer than the searchers could ever have imagined.
Our first story is of a mother who’s never got over the decision made for her 50 years ago – to have her first-born child adopted. Pauline Pedder became pregnant when she was just a schoolgirl in Huddersfield. Now 65, she’s longing to find her daughter, who she’s never forgotten.
When Long Lost Family takes up the search, an unprecedented twist reveals that Pauline’s daughter lives in Huddersfield, has been doing her own investigations into her past and knows much more about her birth mother than expected.
Meanwhile in Blackpool, trainee nurse Donna Cowell’s life has been overshadowed by fears of what happened to her younger brother. Having grown up in the care system and had a difficult childhood, Donna turns to Long Lost Family to find out whether her brother avoided the same fate.
But what she never could have guessed is that her brother turns out to be living just round the corner from her.
Episode 3 - 1 February
This week two stories take us across the globe: a woman’s search for her birth mother in Sri Lanka and a quest on behalf of a father, longing to find his lost son.
The first story follows the journey of Yasika Fernando, separated from her Sri Lankan birth mother when she was adopted, by a British couple, at a few months old. Though Yasika has always known her birthplace to be Sri Lanka, she only discovered the truth about her start in life at the age of 18. Ever since, she has yearned to find her birth mother.
Yasika’s search is unprecedented for Long Lost Family: in Sri Lanka any information has to be given to the adopted person themselves, so with just a name and age to go on, and the risk that even this scant information could be falsified, Yasika has to go on a journey to Sri Lanka herself to search on the ground. Will her trip yield any further information or culminate in her greatest wish – finding her birth mother?
Richard Standen has never forgotten his son Darren, who he last saw over 50 years ago. Only a teenager himself at the time, Richard and his then girlfriend unwittingly agreed to have Darren adopted, something Richard has always regretted. Now 71, Richard has found Darren’s half-sister, Kim, who it turns out has also been searching for Darren. Kim’s mum Christine (Richard’s teenage girlfriend) died in 1997, desperate to know what happened to her son.
Episode 4 - 8 February
This week includes a foundling’s incredible journey to Hong Kong in search of information about her origins and a daughter’s desperate quest to fulfil her mother’s dying wish.
Many adoptees have no idea about the first days of their lives, but for Claire Martin the first two years are missing. Abandoned in Hong Kong as a baby, all she knows is that she arrived at Heathrow Airport in December 1962 and was adopted by a British couple. More than 50 years later and still seeking answers, Claire travels to Hong Kong to appeal for information. However, with the help of DNA, she finds family much closer to home.
More than 50 years ago Nicki Goscomb’s mother, Janet, was faced with an impossible ultimatum; give her newborn son Nicholas up for adoption or face having both her children taken into care. She chose the former: Nicholas was adopted in 1966, whilst Nicki grew up with their mum. But Janet longed to find her son, until the day she died. Now, decades later, Nicki and her sisters want to find Nicholas and tell him that their mother always wanted to keep him. See what happens when the Long Lost Family team takes up the search.
Episode 5 - 15 February (Last in the series)
In the final episode are two incredible stories of people desperate to find missing family: a mother living with a heart-breaking decision made when she was still a child to give up her son for adoption - and a woman on a quest to solve a family mystery and find her sisters.
Julie Johnson is a devoted mother and grandmother who has cherished the time she’s spent with her children and grandchildren. But there’s one child who she hasn’t been able to see grow up or pass any of the milestones that she’s witnessed in her other children - her first son Steven, who was born and given up for adoption when Julie was just a teenager herself.
Meanwhile foster carer Susane King grew up with her very strict grandparents, estranged from her mother and without any brothers or sisters. Then one day she overheard a family secret… that she had two sisters who’d been given up for adoption. Ever since, Susanne has been desperate to find them, hoping they’ve had a better childhood than her own.
Note: Episodes were filmed before the ongoing pandemic and travel restrictions were in place.