We are sure we’re not the only ones armed with a packet of tissues every time we sit down to watch ITV’s show Long Lost Family, but last night’s episode was particularly sad after the ITV show and one of its stars, host Nicky Campbell, tweeted that one of the featured people in the show had sadly passed away.
Julian Delange died on Tuesday September 5, just one night before his episode aired.
This episode of Long Lost Family is dedicated to Julian Delange who features in tonight’s episode and sadly passed away yesterday.
— Long Lost Family (@longlostfamily) September 6, 2017
“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,” Nicky tweeted.
“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.”
Something to tell you about tonight's Long Lost Family. pic.twitter.com/EIr4VXgs29
— Nicky Campbell (@NickyAACampbell) September 6, 2017
The final episode featured Derek Berg, a 73-year-old man who was searching for a brother that had been given up by their mother after a wartime affair.
Before the search started, Derek told the show, “I’m part of him and he’s part of me and if before I pass away I could find him, I’ll go to heaven happy.”
His brother Barry was the result of their mother Frieda’s affair with an Allied serviceman whilst her husband, Kenneth, was away serving with the RAF during World War Two.
When he returned home and discovered what had happened in his absence, the child was given up for adoption as soon as he was born and was never spoken about again.
Not until Derek’s wife Jackie was six months pregnant with their first child, and Frieda shared her secret with her daughter-in-law.
18 months after Derek was born, she’d given Barry up for adoption. But because Derek had promised his mum he wouldn’t look for Barry until his father had passed away the search didn’t start until some 50 years later when Kenneth died in 2014.
Barry had been renamed Julian Delange and was found living between Toronto, Canada and Philadelphia in the States.
Julian had always wondered about his birth mother, telling the show: “I always thought I couldn’t find out even if I wanted to,” going on to say that he was pleased Derek was successful in his search.
After 70 years apart they finally got to meet when Julian made the 3,500 mile journey over from Philadelphia, telling the TV show: “In a way it completes my life in so much as I’m basically in the final chapter.
“To have such a momentous event makes that final chapter a lot easier to live and will give me a source of great happiness.”
We’re so glad the brothers got to meet.
Rest in Peace Julian.