Much-loved tear-jerker Long Lost Family is back for 13th series

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Monday: Long Lost Family (ITV1, 9pm)

Ever since becoming the inaugural presenter of Big Brother in 2000, Davina McCall has been a stalwart of British TV screens.

The Wimbledon-born presenter, philanthropist and lifestyle guru, 55, has hosted shows across most major networks in the UK including Channel 4, ITV, Sky and the BBC.

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In recent years, as well as showing off her impressive abdominal muscles and being a firm advocate for health and wellbeing, Davina has also been vocal in championing women’s issues, including contraception and the menopause, having produced documentaries on both subjects and a book on the latter.

Davina McCall and Nicky CampbellDavina McCall and Nicky Campbell
Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell

In recognition of all this, in particular her services to broadcasting, she was recently made an MBE in the King’s birthday honours.

“I can’t believe it,” she said at the time. “It’s a great honour and it really means a great deal.”

Her latest project, announced in January, sees her front Your Mum, Your Dad, described as a “midlife Love Island”, which will aim to match up single parents on dates observed in secret by their grown-up children.

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But before that inevitable hit kicks off, she is currently on our screens alongside Nicky Campbell presenting a new series of much-loved tear-jerker Long Lost Family.

Now in its 13th series, the programme sees a team working against the odds to help people to reunite with long-lost relatives. And Davina is acutely aware how popular and emotional it is.

“Programmes I present often polarise people, especially something like Big Brother, where people go ‘I loved it’ and others ‘I hated it,’” she explained in an interview with the Express a few years ago.

“But there’s nobody who doesn’t like Long Lost Family. We went to the Baftas and I can’t tell you the number of famous people who came up to me and said, ‘Oh my God, I love it.”

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In tonight’s second edition, we follow the story of a woman who, having lost two precious members of her adoptive family in a single year, is desperate to find her birth family.

We also take on a birth mother’s search for the son she gave up against her will as a teenager in the 1960s.

Sara Hathaway had an idyllic childhood with her adoptive parents and siblings. The family remained close as Sara grew older and had a family of her own until, tragically, her mother and older brother both died in a single year.

Bereft that her family has become ‘smaller and smaller’, Sara turned to Long Lost Family to find her birth family.

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What Sara learns out about her birth mother’s life shocks her, but she also discovers that her family is bigger than she ever knew.

Meanwhile, Diane Kerridge had a child nearly 60 years ago when she was just a teenager.

Powerless to keep her son in the face of her own mother’s shame, she has been desperate to find him ever since.

Davina, Nicky and the team work on Diane’s search, following leads to the west coast of America in the hope of bringing her years of longing to a close.