Home   Sittingbourne   News   Article

Woman finds long lost relative while watching TV gameshow

By Hayley Robinson

When Stella Johnson sat down with a cup of tea to watch her favourite TV game show little did she know that it would lead to her being reunited with a long lost member of her family.

The 78-year-old is now in touch with her 98-year-old cousin Joe Britton after he appeared on Channel 4’s Deal or no Deal.

It was only when Mr Britton held up a picture of his grandfather for viewers at home to see that Mrs Johnson realised they were related.

Mrs Johnson, of Springvale, Iwade, said: “I always watch Deal or no Deal and on this particular day this man held up a picture of a man and I thought that’s my Grandad. He was a Coxswain of Walton-on-Naze lifeboat back in the 1800’s and the picture he showed was of him standing on the pier. We had the same picture but unfortunately when my mother and father had to move to a smaller place they couldn’t take the bigger pictures with them so they got destroyed.

“I called to Bill my husband “Quick, quick it’s my grandad” and it was then I realised we must be cousins.

“His surname was Britton which was my maiden name and his dad and my dad were brothers.

“It took me weeks before I decided to write to him. He won £20,000 on the show so I didn’t want him to think I was coming out of the woodwork for that. He mentioned on the show that he lived at the Royal Chelsea Hospital so I sent a letter there and addressed it 'Care Of Mr Joe Britton.’”

In the letter Mrs Johnson wrote about her family memories and about her visits to Joe’s home.

She also told him how she remembered seeing a picture of him dressed in his army uniform at her uncle’s house in Broxbourne when she was about eight-years-old.

She said: “I never met Joe when I was younger as he was in the army, but he wrote back and confirmed everything.

“We haven’t met in person but he seems a lovely man. We don’t talk on the phone because he’s only got a mobile so it’s too expensive to call so we write four or five page letters to each other instead. I write about everything and anything.

“ I’d love to meet him but I don’t think it’s possible to visit him as my husband is quite poorly at the moment.”

Joe Britton said: “I’m glad that Stella and I are in contact. I never met her or her father when I was younger.
“We haven’t met in person and I’m not sure we will, but we write to each other.”

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More