Have you got a ‘lost love story’ to tell on TV?

Davina McCall
Davina McCall

Romantic reunions have always captured our imaginations, from Tristan and Isolde, to Heathcliff and Catherine.

There is something haunting about the idea of a lost love; a relationship that never quite ran its natural course and could be reignited someday.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that one in five people long to get back with an old flame, and now a new television show from ITV is searching for pining lovers in the Londonderry/Derry area.

The team who make ‘Long Lost Family’ have been reuniting people with missing family members for a decade; now they want to bring romantic soulmates from the city together after years apart.

They have approached the Londonderry Sentinel for help, believing that the recent history of Northern Ireland may have indirectly resulted in a few star-crossed lovers.

The turbulence of The Troubles and waves of migration to and from Northern Ireland in the latter part of the 20th century mean many couples may have been separated by circumstances. If this sounds like you, then they want to hear your story.

The programme idea was inspired by the story of KT Robbins, an American serviceman who fell in love with an 18-year-old French girl, Jeannine Ganaye in 1944 and recently reunited with her after 75 years apart.

The Londonderry/Derry area has provided similarly heart-warming stories in the past. Avril Trenklet and Bob Fanuce proved that true love never dies when they wed nearly 50 years after first meeting.

Derry/Londonderry factory girl, Avril first met US Marine Bob in 1959 when he was stationed at a Naval base in Derry/Londonderry. After a whirlwind romance the couple got engaged but Bob got cold feet and called it off.

As the years passed and they got on with their lives, both marrying other people and having families, but Avril says she always knew in her heart that one day they would be together again. One day out of the blue Avril, who was now widowed, got an email from Bob, sparking their reunion and shortly afterwards a second proposal. This time the wedding went ahead

and the pair finally got their happy ending. The Long Lost Family team are looking for more lost loves like Bob and Avril. They only intend to reunite people who are currently single and happy to meet as friends...who knows, the spark might still be there.

There is it seems, good reason why tales of love that has been lost-and-found-again, feature so heavily in popular culture; because for all of us who shudder at the thought of reigniting a teenage flame, there are plenty who try it... and succeed. An American study of over 1000 rekindled relationships found that their success rate was staggeringly high with 72% staying together long-term. This is because ‘Rekindlers’ were initially separated for situational reasons: perhaps their family moved away, or their parents disapproved.

So, if you want to reconnect with someone special from your past call 020 3301 8577 or email longlostloves@walltowall.co.uk. (All applicants must be single and 18 or over. All information will be treated as confidential).