Long-lost family viewers cried in “one of the most emotional gatherings ever.”
Fans were overwhelmed when Roy, 87, set out to find his daughter, Cheryl, when his family “disappeared in the thin air.”
Roy, the oldest guest on the ITV show so far, last saw his daughter when she was just six years old.
He met Cheryl’s mother at the age of 19 when he was born in Guyana, South America, and was in New York as part of the Merchant Navy.
Roy and Sylvia got married and moved in with their mother to save money when she was pregnant.
Roy said of his daughter, “She was a lovely girl – one of my great experiences, my first child, changing nappies for the first time and taking her out. I love her so much as a father. It’s good. “
But things did not go well for the sailor, who was thrown out by his mother-in-law for “not living up to expectations.”
“I didn’t want to go, but they told me to go,” he said.
“Looking back now, I think my wife Sylvia wanted me to stand in front of her mother but I didn’t, I made a mistake.”
Roy made sure that whenever he returned to land after living at sea, five years later, one day, the women disappeared with their daughter.
“I found out they had moved. It was as if she had disappeared into thin air. They made sure they didn’t leave any trail to follow,” he explained. I can. “
“I was a young man who was very proud. I gave up so easily. I should have decided to fight for my rights as a father and I didn’t.”
Roy also had a son from a previous relationship, and eventually settled in England where he married his wife Atha 40 years ago and has three stepchildren.
“I really, really want to tell Cheryl that I’m sorry I wasn’t there for her, and I should have been,” Roy said of Cheryl.
“It’s eating me every day, every day. I don’t think I can go to my place of rest with it.
“I’m at an age now where I don’t think I will be much older. I would really like to see my daughter.”
So, the Long Last Family team set out to find Cheryl and found her living in Queens, from where she spent her first year in the Bronx with Roy.
Presenter Nicky Campbell met with Cheryl, who has children and grandchildren.
She told Nikki that her mother had died in 1991 and that no one had talked about her father growing up and that she thought she would never see him again.
Cheryl was happy to learn that one of her half-brothers lived nearby in New York and that her father wanted to reconnect with her.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to know you were loved, to know I love you,” he said.
Host Devina McCall then told Roy that they had found her daughter and handed her a handwritten letter.
“Tonight, for the first time in a long time, I will allow myself the joy and happiness of knowing that I have loved all years. Father’s hopes and dreams,” it said.
Roy said not all the money in the world can cover the fact that for him the words “all Chinese tea” are worth it.
Due to the ongoing quaid restrictions, father and daughter can only reconnect via video chat for the first time.
“Honey, honey, honey, we’re going to stay. [in contact] Until I pass, “he told her.
“Oh yeah, I’m just telling you. I really want to touch you, grab you, you know.”
Cheryl then called her entire family on a video call and wished Roy a happy birthday.
She later met her half-brother Gerald at a New York hotel.
When she was able, Cheryl went to England to visit her father in person for the first time since she was a little girl.
He met his daughter Dares in a London park after quarantine.
When they saw each other, they immediately fell into each other’s arms and hugged warmly.
“I could stay up all night like I was a little girl and I found my father. It was the most amazing moment of my life,” Cheryl said.
“Someone call you daughter, she’s changed something in me. It’s like you come in front of the sun and you’re like a flower and you bloom and it’s wonderful, that’s just wonderful.”
Roy said he was on “Cloud Nine” after meeting his daughter and granddaughter.
“I think I’m walking in space, the moment was great. It made me a new man, yes, a real new man,” he explained.
“That crime is over, my life is over.”
The family talks on the phone every week, and Roy plans to move to New York as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.
Fans shed tears at his story, and the show’s boss called it “one of the most emotional encounters ever.”
One fan wrote on Twitter, “I think this is my favorite episode. What a beautiful family. I’m so glad they found each other.”
Another added: “I just cried like a child and saw Cheryl in the #LongLee family. Their pure love and happiness made my heart glad.”
And a third wrote: “Anyone else watching #longlostfamily and rolling their eyes?”
The Long Last Family airs on ITV on Tuesdays at 9 p.m.