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Gene Detectives, The


Reuniting family members

The Gene Detectives is a series that reunites people with relatives who they have either never met before or who have been missing from their lives. However, there is a twist. At the beginning of the show the resident genealogist has narrowed the possible relatives down to three – but only one of them is the real relative…..we only find out which one is the real relative in an emotional reunion when their identity is finally worked out.

During a series of tests can the audience at home, the person looking for the relative and also our presenter work out which one of the three possible relatives really is the real relative? It combines the great obsession of genealogy with a powerful emotional ending, wringing the most tension and excitement possible out of the detective trail that is genealogy. Each show we feature someone who is desperate to find a relative. They always have an extremely strong reason for wanting to find this relative. They may be someone who was fostered as a young child and has never since met the brothers they left behind. They may be someone who hasn't seen their mother since they were five years old and now they are getting married they want to make their family whole. Whatever the reason, we learn all about it at the start of the show and see how hugely important this day will be for them. The series is presented by Melanie Sykes who brings her wonderful mix of warmth, humour and emotion to the show. Melanie is perfect for the role of the gene hunter’s friend, helping them through the emotional journey and sharing their highs and lows. Our expert genealogist who finds the missing relatives is Anthony Adolph. With over two decades of genealogical research to his credit he is the perfect person to crack our very difficult cases. To begin with Anthony tracks down 3 potential relatives and during the course of the show he conducts a number of tests to give clues as to who the actual relative is. The viewers will be told exactly how Anthony has used genealogy to get this far, but only at the end of the show will Anthony finally confirm who is the real long lost family member. The series of tests will include a brand new technique of facial mapping (seeing how close a match the 3 potentials are facially to the gene hunter), medical history (many medical conditions such as poor eyesight are genetically inherited) and blood groups (identifying the population group of each potential relative eg. Viking, Celt, Persian, African ...to see if they match). Finally, once Anthony has conducted all his tests and made his final checks he is able to reveal the real relative. This ensures that every show ends with an extremely emotional reunion. It's “Surprise Surprise” meets “Who Do You Think You Are”. It is this hugely moving ending that is key to the success of this series, making genealogy something that is not just buried in the past but something that can make a real difference to our lives today.

Programme Information

  • Genre: Factual Entertainment

  • Subgenre: Relationships


  • Broadcaster: BBC

  • Duration: 10 x 45'

  • Tags: Format Genealogy Science Ancestry

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