Who Do You Think You Are?

Lesley Sharp

Series 10 - Episode 4 Lesley Sharp



Lesley Sharp was adopted when she was five weeks old. When she eventually traced her birth mother, Elsie, she learnt that her father, Norman Patient, was a married man, but that’s all she knows about him and the circumstances of her adoption. “It makes you feel you have a question mark inside you,” is how she explains her need to find out more. Her birth father died some years ago and unfortunately didn’t tell anyone about his illegitimate daughter so that puts a full stop to those investigations.

Instead she finds quite a few women in her family tree who had illegitimate children but who soldiered on despite the stigma, and she also discovers a kindly distant relative who, back in the early 1900s, generously fostered a couple of orphan boys via the Barnardo’s charity. For once there are no tears over unknown ancestors or ancient injustices – but she does well up when she talks about her much-loved adoptive dad.


Actress Lesley Sharp was adopted at just five weeks old, having been born as a result of her birth mother's affair with a married man. Knowing that her biological father has died, she now sets out to learn more about him, tracing her half siblings and delving deeper into the paternal side of her family. She discovers that her great-great-grandfather fostered Barnardo's children, so follows the trail of one of them all the way to Canada to hear tales of what kind of home her relative provided.

Cast & Crew

Contributor Lesley Sharp
Director Ruairi Fallon
Series Producer Colette Flight