ITV show Long Lost Family is famous for reducing viewers to tears with its stories of relatives torn apart and brought together again.
The often-heartbreaking documentary series charts people’s efforts to reunite with long lost parents, children, siblings and other family members.
Hosts Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell normally have good news for hopefuls trying to reconnect with loved ones, but just as often, they have to break terrible news to those on the show.
But which are the most heartbreaking episodes, as series 10 comes to an end? Here are five of the biggest tear-jerkers.
Most emotional episodes of ITV show Long Lost Family
Robert and his dad
Last year, an episode of spin-off show Long Lost Family: What Happened Next featured Robert, who was on the documentary series in 2015 looking for his dad.
The father of three, from Ayrshire, never knew his dad as a child and they tracked him down to Split, a city in Croatia.
He was 71, had no other kids and didn’t know Robert even existed.
They kept in touch but their calls grew less frequent, until there was a year with zero contact. On What Happened Next, Robert made the trip back to Croatia to find out why they had lost touch – and discovered his dad died in 2017.
Reunited siblings David and Helen
Siblings David and Helen were abandoned years apart, with David left on a car seat just outside Belfast in 1962, and Helen left in a telephone box six years later in Dandalk.
Both of them were left in tartan bags, but their cases were never connected.
After an emotional reunion, David reflected: “It’s absolutely wonderful. She’s more than I expected.”
Trip to Asia
Claire’s search for her parents in Hong Kong
A recent episode of the programme was a true contender for the title of biggest tear-jerker.
Claire searched for her family in Hong Kong, where she was abandoned on a stairwell as a baby.
She spent months at a local orphanage and in the end, authorities secured her adoptive parents in the UK.
She loved them but her adoptive mum died when she was just 12, and she was always desperate to find her biological parents.
After all the emotion I’ve been through, at last I’ve had some good news.
With the show’s help, Claire returned to Hong Kong and, in highly emotive scenes, visited the stairwell where she was left and the orphanage where she once lived.
Unfortunately, she never tracked down her birth mum and dad, but was pleased at one connection she found – a man who had lived in the building at the time.
She said on the programme: “I can’t believe it. I’ve actually met somebody [who saw] me… in 1960. After all the emotion I’ve been through, at last I’ve had some good news.”
Newly discovered siblings and WWI soldiers laid to rest
Christine discovers she has six other siblings
In a 2019 episode, Christine reunited with two of her sisters after decades apart – only to discover something amazing.
Christine spoke of the traumatic moment the three of them were separated when she was four years old.
Thankfully they were reunited, but Christine was told their mum, unfortunately, had died years ago. But long before she passed away, she had six more children with the girls’ father.
Unknown Solider special
ITV aired a First World War special of the programme in 2019. And it had viewers bawling.
Presenters Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell followed a Ministry of Defence team seeking the families of unknown soldiers killed in World War One.
In one emotive scene, the relative of an identified solider watched poppies placed in the soil. He said: “Now I know more of my history, I’ve got a family I can be proud of.”
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