Lulu 'really angry' exploring mother's adoption in Who Do You Think You Are?


The Scottish singer went through the 'whole gamut of emotions' looking into her family history in Glasgow

Lulu says she 'ran the gamut of emotions' as she explored her family history in a new episode of Who Do You Think You Are?

The Shout singer, whose full name is Lulu Kennedy-Cairns, shot to fame in 1965 when she was just 15, but has never learned why her mother, the middle of seven children, was given away to another family when she was a newborn baby.

Lulu on Who Do You Think You Are (Stephen Perry/BBC)

Lulu on Who Do You Think You Are (Stephen Perry/BBC)


In exploring the history of her family in her native Scotland, she finds out her mother Elizabeth was given to another family because her own father was in and out of prison and could not hold down a job and her mother could not take care of her.

She told the Press Association: “I was so close to my mother and I think that I carried some of her pain because her whole life was impacted by, more than anything, the secret.

“I think that made her deal with life in a certain way.

Lulu’s parents Elizabeth Kennedy-Cairns and Edward Lawrie (BBC)

Lulu’s parents Elizabeth Kennedy-Cairns and Edward Lawrie (BBC)


“It’s always surprising when you think ‘I will be fine’, but even though you know it will be emotional you don’t know you will burst out into tears.

“When it’s so personal, it’s kind of draining so for the second part I got my brother to come with me to share in my journey and he also at times was overwhelmed.

“We felt very tender towards my mother. At times I got really angry about my grandparents and I didn’t really like them, but then you learn more about people and you learn that they couldn’t help the situation they were in.”

In the programme Lulu discovers her grandfather Hugh Cairns was part of a Glasgow gang and was in prison 10 times in 10 years.

She said: “I was angry with him because my mother was so impacted. I felt if only he would have… but that is not the way life works.

Lulu and her mother (Lulu/BBC)

Lulu and her mother (Lulu/BBC)


“I am an emotional female, but I had time to think about it and rationalise and it was a shame really for all of them, they had hard lives.”

She continued: “My grandmother got lost in her relationship and I can really relate to it, I’m a bit like that myself.

“I am a bit of a romantic, I can relate to all of it and until you’re in someone’s shoes it’s hard to judge, but I got upset and then I felt bad for them, I went through the gamut of emotion.”

Lulu said the programme was so emotional she will only be able to watch it surrounded by her family.

Lulu (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Lulu (Anthony Devlin/PA)


She said: “I couldn’t watch it by myself. I think I will be twisting and turning and feeling awkward, I don’t think I will be relaxed.”

Who Do You Think You Are? screens on BBC1 on Thursday at 8pm.

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