THE tables are set for tomorrow night’s Long Lost Family Christmas Reunion.
It marks the first time many relatives have shared the festive season together – but for one guest, the day will be bittersweet.
Over the past eight years, ITV’s Long Lost Family has reunited more than 200 relatives.
Now it’s bringing some of these families together under one roof for a very special Christmas lunch.
The Christmas Reunion will see 120 family members gather at a banqueting hall in central London.
Presenters Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell welcome their guests to what Nicky jokingly describes as “the biggest family Christmas lunch in the history of family Christmas lunches”.
While there are plenty of heartwarming stories to be regaled, one looks set to be incredibly emotional.
Laura Aker had intended to attend the event with her Nigerian father Andrew and half-brother Nten, who she met on the programme last year.
But just a fortnight before filming was set to take place, Andrew passed away.
In moving scenes, we’ll see Nten and Laura decide to come as a duo, in order to celebrate their father’s life.
Nten then explains to Davina that knowing he’d seen his daughter gave Andrew peace before he died.
Laura grew up in Kirkcaldy, Scotland thinking that her step-father was her dad – until she discovered a letter her real father had written to her mum Susan.
She was just 13 when she found the note.
Andrew and Susan had met while Andrew was undergoing nautical training in Scotland, but his visa ran out and he had to return to his home country.
In the letter, he asked Susan to tell Laura that “Daddy loves her” and that he would one day return to Scotland to see her.
The Long Lost Family researchers set about trying to find Andrew but failed to locate him.
However, they did manage to find Ntem on Facebook and make contact.
Andrew collapsed the week he was due to fly to Scotland – and Laura was ready to give up hope.
But a defiant Andrew got out of hospital and travelled with Ntem three weeks later to tell the daughter he’d never met that he loved her.
Long Lost Family Christmas Reunion will air on ITV1 at 9pm tomorrow.
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