ITVX has made its first factual format commission with Born From the Same Stranger from Wall to Wall.
The new four-part series follows the stories of people born from a donor who yearn to find their unknown blood relations and solve mysteries about their identities.
The Wall To Wall Media team behind ITV’s Long Lost Family joins searchers as they aim to be united with potentially a host of brothers and sisters with one thing in common – their anonymous biological father.
Their detective work will be supported every step of the way by DNA technology and an online cohort of self-taught internet sleuths. This ready-made, organic social media community of donor-conceived experts, many of whom have already pursued their own personal searches, will be on hand to advise, encourage, offer tips and guidance and share their own extraordinary experiences.
Born From the Same Stranger is being made as a UK law change takes effect in 2023, which will see donor anonymity disappear and anyone conceived by donation after 2005 be able to apply to find out more details about their identity as soon as they turn 18.
At the same time, as the series will reveal, those born earlier are still coming up against barriers and ethical dilemmas as they pursue their desire to know more about where they come from.
The series promises to uncover intimate stories on a cinematic scale, including meeting a woman whose donor’s sperm was delivered across the world in her grandparents’ hand luggage and a man who’s discovered he’s one of 14 siblings and counting. It captures donor-conceived people being united with their new-found relatives and explores the effects of nature and nurture on who we are.
Born From the Same Stranger is commissioned for ITVX by Jo Clinton-Davis, ITV Controller of Factual.
Clinton-Davis said: “For many people born to anonymous donors, finding out the hidden stories of where they come from and who their blood relations are is a deep and long-held desire. And as this series will show, their stories are moving, astonishing and reveal much about the human condition. With their experience making Long Lost Family, Wall To Wall are the perfect team to produce this first Factual format for ITVX, which could not be more timely coming at a moment when new laws open up the prospect for many more donor-born people to find out more about their identities.”
Executive Producer is Sally Benton and Series Producer is Rachel Ozers for Wall to Wall Media.
Leanne Klein, Managing Director of Wall to Wall Media, said: “We’re excited that our first commission for ITVX is built around stories that are not only highly personal but incredibly modern and absolutely of the moment – they simply couldn’t have been told before. Now for these young people who have been missing a vital piece of their own story there’s a real chance of closure and we’ll be with them for every turn of these dynamic and emotional journeys.”
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