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Martin Kemp and Roman Kemp were the latest celebrities to embark on a DNA Journey on ITV tonight, and the father-son duo broke down in tears when they learned a heartbreaking family history.
Speaking to a historian, Martin discovered that his grandmother Eliza had actually grown up in a workhouse, where punishments for poverty or "pauperism" were incredibly sadistic.
The historian explained how the children would have been flogged and that Eliza lost her childhood at the tender age of 10 when she and her sister were separated from the rest of their family.
As a result, Eliza had to step up and care for her younger sister and as they learned more and more Martin and Roman became emotional.
"It’s the maddest thing you paint a picture of such a hard life, and it must have been," Martin said, taken-aback. "And I think looking back at Eliza and her mum it’s such a sad picture, and it doesn’t surprise me that this is my family line.
"But what does surprise me is how close it was. That it’s my dad’s mum. He never once mentioned she grew up in a workhouse, and that’s why I don’t know the stories obviously because they didn’t want to tell me."
Reflecting back on his relationship with his granddad – Martin’s dad and Eliza’s son – Roman recalled him saying how strict Eliza had been as a parent.
The famous family members began to put all the pieces together of their past and it became too much for Martin.
Pausing to choke back the tears, the former Spandau Ballet singer explained how the knowledge of Eliza’s upbringing gave him "more respect" for his dad.
"It just sounds to me like it’s a long line of struggle," Martin managed to finish.
Realising just how privileged his own upbringing has been in comparison, Capital FM DJ Roman then began sobbing.
"That is a world that is so foreign from mine, so foreign," he shared. "I have grown up with everything I ever wanted. Everything.
"It’s hard because even today I hear about my dad and the house that he’s from, and then knowing the house that I’m from, and it just goes back.
"You just hope that the people who set that up, for me and for my family, that they know that," Roman added, as Martin reached out and gave his son a big hug.
Also in the documentary, Roman met a large group of people related to his ancestor William Appleby on his mum Shirlie's side of the family, in hilarious scenes that saw the famous pair come face to face with their new family members in a church.
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