Chrissie Swan and Anh Do host the TV series Long Lost Family.
Chrissie Swan and Anh Do host the TV series Long Lost Family. Channel 10

Ultimate family reunions captured on camera

A BOX of tissues is mandatory when viewing Chrissie Swan's new show Long Lost Family.

She and comedian Anh Do host the new series, which tells the stories of people who have been searching for lost family members and finally reunite them with their loved ones.

"It doesn't feel like a TV show when we're making it," Swan tells APN.

"I'm spending time with them in their houses. It's very personal and really raw, and it can't be rushed.

"In a weird way I feel like I'm drawing on everything I've ever done as a broadcaster and everything I've ever learned about being a human being at the same time. It's been the most beautiful job really."

The series follows 16 people who have had no luck so far in their searches for lost parents and siblings.

Professional investigator Julia Robson and the show's research team spent weeks chasing down leads to help the families find closure.

"The production (schedule) was blown out by months," Swan says.

"It's been a lot of work but it's been absolutely worth it.

"In the world of the internet and social media, I can track down someone I went to school with on Facebook quite easily but particularly with older people finding long-lost parents, a lot of them don't have much of an internet footprint.

"Or in the case of the adoption laws from the '60s and '70s, if the parent wants to look for the child then it's almost impossible.

"A lot of them have been waiting for the call or letter."

While sharing their life's most intimate details on national television might seem like a daunting prospect, Swan said the show's participants were happy to allow cameras to follow their reunions.

"It's a lot more common than you would imagine in Australia that someone is living with a person missing in their life," she says.

"Most of them had tried so hard to find their person and they need that closure so badly. If we can help them and do it in a sensitive and respectful way, then there's no risk or jeopardy for them.

"Also, this way they have an amazing memory on tape they can relive whenever they want to."

Long Lost Family premieres on Wednesday at 7.30pm on Channel 10.

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