Author Archives: arielbruce

Long Lost Family Press Release: ‘Born Without Trace’

Ariel Bruce and the Long Lost Family team are proud to bring you a one off special, ‘Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace’, which will air on ITV1 on Monday 25th February at 9pm. The one hour thirty minute special will follow the stories of three ‘foundling’ babies, now adults, as they seek to learn the story of their origins.

The right to origin has always been a founding cornerstone in Ariel’s search work, however, before the rise in private DNA databases like ‘AncestryDNA’ and ’23 & Me’, there were some cases that just could not be solved. These ‘foundling cases’ – babies left at hospitals & churches with no identifying information – had no paper trail or even a name with which to start a search, and therefore almost no chance of tracing their origins.

“I was straight out of the womb and put into a pillowcase and left on the doorstep…where is my history? Where did I come from? Being a foundling, I’ve got nothing” Alley Lofthouse, foundling

Using increasingly popular DNA research to trace the origins of these foundling babies demonstrates perfectly the fascinating connections that can be made with DNA research. In doing so, Ariel and her team were able to give the show’s three foundlings Alley, Jamie and Karen, a previously unknown history and a sense of where they came from.

Long Lost Family presenters Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell return to present, with appearances from Ariel herself as well as DNA expert and colleague Julia Bell. Tune into ITV1 for ‘Long Lost Family Special: Born Without Trace’ on Monday 25th February at 9pm.

“Just when you thought Long Lost Family couldn’t get any more emotional, Nicky Campbell and Davina McCall are back to host this heart-breaking one-off special focusing on people who were abandoned as babies and are desperate to find out about their roots.” What’s On TV: *****

You can read the full ITV Press Release by clicking here –

Telegraph Magazine Reports On DNA Testing

Ariel Bruce was featured in the Sunday Telegraph Magazine (26th Jan 2019) discussing the rise in popularity of personal DNA testing. The story, by Rachel Cocker, tells how her own mother, Moria Crocker, instructed Ariel in the late 1980’s to trace her birth parents after discovering she was adopted.

Ariel, dubbed the ‘Agatha Christie of the adoption world’ by the Telegraph, successfully found and made contact with Moira’s mother Elspet, but sadly she was not in a position to start a relationship with her daughter, and died in 1990 taking Moira’s birth father’s name with her.

Ariel, who uses DNA tests daily to discover and confirm family connections, was not at all surprised when Moira’s DNA results from a test taken many years later in 2018 showed that she had a half brother, David, she had previously known nothing about.

David, who showed as an extremely strong match on the Ancestry DNA database, shared enough ‘centimorgans’ to be classed as a half sibling. Cocker goes on to tell us that the two eventually met and discovered a shared past that took them back to the Sudan of the 1940s, where their respective parents were both living. Through linking this backstory to the Ancestry DNA results they were able to confirm the relationship. At the age of 70, through the use of DNA, Moira was able to not only find out who her father was, but also discover that she had a half brother. As Ariel says in the article: ‘DNA does not lie”.


DNA has long been used to discover and confirm family connections in professional circles, not least in Ariel’s work uniting families all over the world ITV’s Long lost Family. However, Cocker tells us that private DNA testing is experiencing a boom all of its own:

A report in the journal Science, in October, showed that 60 per cent of Americans of European descent could already be identified by cross-referencing relatives in DNA databases with other publicly available genealogical records. And the UK is noy far behind.

With the ever increasing popularity of DNA television shows like Long Lost Family, and a high number of enquiries to Ariel for help with searches, it seems like the DNA bubble isn’t going to burst anytime soon.

You can read the full Telegraph article by clicking here – Daily Telegraph

BBC Podcast Explores DNA Testing

What is a DNA test, and does it ‘work’? Why might someone want to test their DNA, and what will they find out? Previously unknown cousins and relatives? Skeletons in the cupboard? Possibly all of the above…

The rise in popularity of DNA testing is undeniable, thanks in large part to ITV’s Long Lost Family, of which Ariel and her team are lead researchers. ‘The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry’ is one of the flagship podcasts on the new BBC Sounds platform, and they have chosen the subject of DNA Testing for their opening episode.

Whether you’re trying to trace a missing family member or explore family traits and hereditary illnesses, a quick and easy DNA test can give you a wealth of information in just a few weeks.

Listen to the Podcast by clicking here.


Ariel and her team use DNA analysis to find family connections and to trace missing family members in ways that would previously have been impossible without DNA testing. Many of the Long Lost Family cases were cracked using DNA, so it’s no wonder the popularity of testing is on the rise.

If you want to know more about professional DNA testing then you can contact to chat to the team.

OPSA Trustee Kate Adie Awarded MBE

OPSA Trustee Kate Adie was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s birthday honour list, to go along with the OBE she was awarded in 1993.

The award was given for services to the media in celebration of the Kate’s long and illustrious career as a journalist, specialising as a war correspondent.

Now an author and freelance journalist, Kate has been a Trustee of OPSA since the beginning of 2018.

To visit the OPSA website please Click Here


Kate Adie at the BBC in the 1970s (Image: BBC)

DNA Testing On Corrie Cast Equal Great TV!

Last night (Weds 5th Sept) ITV1 aired a one off special programme in which members of the Coronation Street cast explored their histories through the means of DNA research. Following on from the huge success of ‘Long Lost Family’ we were treated to the actors submitting their DNA to an increasingly popular DNA testing site, with some very interesting results. Radio Times called the show “…a mash-up of Who Do You Think You Are? and Long Lost Family with a Corrie twist. Think of it as Who the ’Eck Do You Think You’ve Lost?” You can watch the episode on ITV Hub – Click Here.

Ariel Bruce and her team regularly use DNA to trace family members, investigate DNA links and to contact possible relatives. You can expect DNA testing to feature much more in the national conscience in the next few years.

“…a mash-up of Who Do You Think You Are? and Long Lost Family with a Corrie twist. Think of it as Who the ’Eck Do You Think You’ve Lost?”

How it works:

Following in the footsteps of the Corrie stars, potential DNA testers can submit a saliva sample to any of the DNA testing sites by post and then create an online account to access their results. On the website you can see your DNA matches, build a family tree and contact potential relatives. It’s amazing what DNA investigation can unearth, as we found out during the show, as Corrie stars & long term friends Sally Ann Matthews & Amanda Barrie turned out to be cousins! Cast member Liam Bairstow also found out that he was related to King Edward I of England.

Twitter reaction:

With #CoronationStreetDNA trending around the country last night, it is clear the nation was enthralled by the programme. Many took to Twitter to express their joy at during the shoe, with lots having more questions about the DNA aspect. Is the UK just waking up to the possibilities unlocked by DNA testing?

Screen Shot 2018-09-06 at 13.19.28

Either way the use of DNA to create tense and emotional viewing is just beginning. With a new series of Long Lost Family in the pipeline, and other DNA related programmes too, you can certainly expect more.

Long Lost Family Episode 7, Feat. Charlotte Bruce-Lloyd

Did you see episode 7 of the latest Long Lost Family series? Broadcast on Tuesday 28th August, the episode focused on Maureen, who had been trying to find her brother Keith for 40 years. Keith was adopted at birth, with Maureen running into dead end after dead end in her search.

After getting in touch with the Long Lost Family team, Maureen’s search made it’s way to Ariel and the search team, who set about tracing Keith. Little did anyone know, that this search would take them to Australia, where Keith had been living for 4 years, and now had 3 children and 8 grandchildren!

Through the search work and intermediary services of Ariel and her team, Maureen and Keith are reunited in the UK. However the story doesn’t end there, as Keith wants to know more about the birth mother who gave him up all those years ago.

This type of search work requires dedicated time pouring over birth records, for which expert help is needed. In this episode of Long Lost Family we see Charlotte Bruce-Lloyd, one of Ariel’s colleagues, explain to Keith how to pull apart search data, and piece together the circumstances which led to his being given up for adoption.

If you missed the episode you can catch up on the ITV hub by clicking on this link –

Long Lost Family Mid Season Update

With Episode 4 of ITV’s award winning Long Lost Family airing last Tuesday evening (7th August), we have reached the halfway point of Series 8 of LLf. We’ve seen some ground breaking reunions, including the youngest searcher in the show’s history and the first transgender search. The latest episode of the show reunited former England Rugby star Spencer Brown with the mother and sister he was separated from at birth. You can watch a clip of the emotional scenes below:


If you missed the first four episodes of the series, or if you just want to relive the emotional scenes, then you can catch up on the ITV Hub (click link).

Still to come this series we meet Bronwen, now based in Canada, who gave up her son in 1960s West London, herself just 18 and unable to care for a baby. Her description of the 6 weeks she spent agonisingly trying to care for Mark makes for chilling viewing:

“I knew he needed somebody who was grown-up enough to be a mother. However much I loved him, I wasn’t.”

Where is Mark now? Can the two be reunited after all this time? Bronwen had always hoped to see her son again – will she finally get her chance? Tune into ITV1 at 9pm tomorrow night (14th August) to find out.

Ariel Bruce and team provide all of the search work and intermediary services for Long Lost Family.