‘ I found my Dad’
Long Lost Family host Anh Do knows what it’s like to reconnect with loved ones. By CLAIRE RIGDEN
FILMING Long Lost Family, which is all about reconnecting missing family members, has been an emotional experience for Anh Do.
“I was adamant before we filmed the first story that I wasn’t going to shed tears. But that went out the window pretty quickly,” the 38- year- old actor, writer and comedian admits.
“It got to me so much. Because this is a big thing we’re doing. This is about family; it’s about belonging. It’s about, ‘ What is my place in the world? Where do I come from?’ These are all massive questions.” Do, who hosts the show with co- presenter Chrissie Swan, can probably relate more than most. When he was in his early 20s he went searching for his own absent father, who he hadn’t seen in nine years.
“My father left my family when I was 13 and I’d had zero contact with him until I was 22,” Do explains.
“As a kid, he always used to say tome ,‘ If you find the right woman, don’t muck around – ask her to marry you!’ So here I am, I’m 22, and I’ve started dating a good friend from uni. Three weeks into the relationship, I asked her to marry me. So I wanted to find my old man [ to tell him].”
When Do tracked him down, his father was living with a new partner and twoyear- old son. Do wasn’t sure he’d made the right decision.
“I’m thinking, ‘ He’s got a new partner now, and a new kid. I’m just going to visit this once, and I’m not going to come back’.
“Then, through breakfast, I say, ‘ The kid is really cute Dad, what is his name?’ And he says, ‘ His name is Anh, I named him after you, son’.
“So, for many years, I thought he had forgotten about me. Turns out, he hadn’t.”
Over the months and years, Do visited more and more, and the two are now best friends ( Do, a talented artist, painted his father for the acclaimed Archibald Prize in 2014, finishing a finalist ).
He says the experience has allowed him to relate to the people he’s met through his new show.
“When Channel Ten called me, they explained [ that my experience] was probably a factor in asking me to be a host,” he explains. “And to be honest, this is probably one of the biggest reasons I wanted to do it. I know how much of a big deal it is to reconnect with your family.”
LONG LOST FAMILY
TDT, WEDNESDAY, 7.30PM