Watton man reunited with mum on ITV's Long Lost Family

Michael Cocks, from Thetford, and his mum Lynne Oakes are set to feature on ITV's Long Lost Family

Michael Cocks, from Thetford, and his mum Lynne Oakes are set to feature on ITV's Long Lost Family - Credit: ITV

The story of a Watton man's happy reunion with his mum after 52 years apart is to be told on national television.

Michael Cocks will appear on ITV's Long Lost Family after being tracked down by the show's DNA experts and investigators.

Michael Cocks, from Thetford, had not seen his mum for 52 years

Michael Cocks, from Thetford, had not seen his mum for 52 years - Credit: ITV

Monday night's (August 9) programme, airing at 9pm, follows retired bank clerk Lynne Oakes, from North London. 

When Ms Oakes was just 14 years old, her childhood was shattered when she fell pregnant by an older man - who then disappeared.

“I was too young," she said. "And my parents just couldn’t handle it. So, it was hush-hushed."


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The petrified teenager was sent to a mother and baby home, knowing she would eventually hand over her child. 

Lynne Oakes found her son Michael Cocks, from Thetford, after 52 years apart

Lynne Oakes found her son Michael Cocks, from Thetford, after 52 years apart - Credit: ITV

After her baby boy, Eugene, was born, she spent several days taking care of him in hospital. 

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“I loved every minute of it - bathing him, I’d sing to him and I’d talk to him," added Ms Oakes. 

"For 10 days you get to love something. Then the very last day I remember crying, all my tears were dropping on his face as I was feeding him.

"I was talking to him, saying I was sorry and I told him I’ll always love him and one day I would find him, and then they put him in the cot. They just wheeled him away and that was it."

A picture of Michael Cocks, from Thetford, when he was a baby

A picture of Michael Cocks, from Thetford, when he was a baby - Credit: ITV

The team from Lost Long Family took on the search and found Eugene, now called Michael Cocks, living in Watton. 

He told presenter Nicky Chapman he was happy to be found, but saddened to learn of his mother's plight. 

"It must have been terrible," he said. "Handing over somebody you you love, knowing you’re probably not going to see them again."

After more than half a century apart, the day arrived for mother and son to meet again. 

Davina McCall and Nicky Chapman, presenters of Long Lost Family on ITV

Davina McCall and Nicky Chapman, presenters of Long Lost Family on ITV - Credit: ITV

Mr Cocks traveled down to London before an emotional reunion just a few miles from where he was born.  

“I feel like a whole weight has been lifted from my head," said Ms Oakes.

"He wants to call me 'mum' - it's lovely. It was magic, absolute magic."

Mr Cocks added: "I’m over the moon. She’s such a lovely woman. I’m just looking forward to the rest of the time we can have together."

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