‘ I found my Dad’

Long Lost Fam­ily host Anh Do knows what it’s like to re­con­nect with loved ones. By CLAIRE RIG­DEN

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

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.”



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