Christopher Dean recalls heartbreak of mum leaving when he was 6 in 'DNA Journey'

Torvill and Dean in DNA Journey
Christopher Dean and Jane Torvill star in tonight's DNA Journey. (Voltage TV and Mitre Television)

Christopher Dean shares the heartbreaking story of watching his mum leave home when he was just six years old in tonight's DNA Journey.

The celebrity family history show tracks the ancestors of pairs of famous friends, and tonight (Tuesday) it's the turn of Olympic skating legends Torvill and Dean.

Read more: Torvill and Dean call for same-sex couples in the Olympics

As they take a drive around their home city of Nottingham, the car stops outside of a flat that Dean, 63, lived in as a child and he tells Jayne Torvill about a traumatic memory from his time there.

Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean attend The BRIT Awards 2022 at The O2 Arena on February 08, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jim Dyson/Redferns)
Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean have been close friends since they began skating together as children. (Redferns)

In the ITV show, Dean says: "I actually do remember I was in my bedroom, I just remember seeing my mum leaving with a suitcase and getting into a car, I saw her from the window. I hadn't been told that she was going, but I just remember her going.

"And then an hour or so later another car pulled up and then stepmum arrived, Betty."

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Torvill looks shocked as she asks: "Wow. And your dad didn't say anything?"

Dean replies: "No. I think I was six. I think that was one of the days when I became my own little island, just being self sufficient.

"My mum I think regretted every day of her life that she left me."

Torvill and Dean investigate their family histories. (Voltage TV and Mitre Television)
Torvill and Dean investigate their family histories. (Voltage TV and Mitre Television)

The skater got back in contact with his mother eventually and he and Torvill talk about her many visits to watch them in their roles on Dancing On Ice.

Dean says: "I noticed whenever I caught her eye, whatever was happening on the ice, she only looked at me. I think there was a lot of sorrow that she missed out on so much."

1984:  Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean of Great Britain on their way to winning gold medals in the Ice Dancing event during the Sarajevo Winter Olympic Games in Yugoslavia. \ Mandatory Credit: AllsportUK  /Allsport
Torvill and Dean won Olympic Gold. (Allsport)

There is a happy discovery for Dean, who finds he has a huge family on his mother's side in Utah where coincidentally, his son goes to university.

He is clearly moved during a video call with his long-lost relatives who welcome him in to their family.

Dean says: "They're such a tight, close-knit family. I've never had that."

He adds to Torvill: "You've always just been my family."

DNA Journey airs tonight at 9pm on ITV.

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