With a history of absent fathers on both sides of the Bourne family, actor and comedian Shane Bourne embarks on a search for the missing man in his family tree, his paternal grandfather A.P. Freeman.

Shane’s journey to find out more about A.P. Freeman, starts with a visit from his brother Dannie, who has collected together the family archives. He knows his mother met her father for the first time when she was 18 along with her sister Bonita, and that this moment was captured by a street photographer. He also knows that A.P. Freeman and his grandmother, Dorothy, married when she was just a teenager and that the marriage only lasted a couple of years.

Shane discovers his grandfather’s date and place of birth, and that he described himself as a ‘managing director’. Though he is unsure what he was a managing director of, Shane suspects the answer lies in some of the family legends that include A.P. being involved in a bus company and being a marathon piano player. Heading to the State Library in Melbourne and the Public Records Office of Victoria, Shane delves deeper and he discovers a mystery filled with false leads, deceit and betrayal.

Shane also investigates the story of his grandmother Dorothy. He recalls vague family stories of her going on to pursue a career as a model and an actor in early Australian cinema. Meeting up with cinema critic and historian David Stratton, Shane uncovers some valuable records of his grandmother’s life on the silver screen.

Tune in to SBS ONE at 7.30pm on Sunday to find out what Shane discovers…

Shane will also be online after the show for a live web chat.

If you can’t catch the show on tv, you can watch it online after the episode has aired and the live web chat will also be available to replay on the SBS website.

Don’t forget to check out the Extras section for additional interviews and exclusive scenes that weren’t shown in the tv broadcast!


  1. Peter Clark

    This story was a ripper, but we were left with the feeling that this was only half of the story. Where did A.Ps larikin gene come from ? His forebear’s history was alluded to at the conclusion of the programme, and that only left us wanting to know more about them too. When will Shane be off to the UK to find out more ?
    Peter C.

  2. Marie Freeman

    I was contacted by a researcher for the programme some time ago as I am connected to the policeman George Freeman mentioned in the programme at the very end. He was married to my mother’s great gramd aunt but sadly none of the large amount of information about George or his son Frederick Neville Freeman who went to Australia was included in the programme. However I saw that there is a photograph of George now in the hands of Shane. I would dearly love to have a copy of this as I do not have any such record. I would gladly send another copy of all thee info which I have on George and his other descendants in England, and indeed on the aristocratic ancestord of George as a counterbalance to the dodginess in return.

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