Meeting the parents – it’s a moment in a relationship that marks just how serious a partnership has become. For Lee and Paul, it was just another step on the path toward the future that they saw themselves sharing together. Indeed, the couple had imagined that they would one day get married and commit their lives to each another.
However, when Paul then met Lee’s mother, Ena, things didn’t really go to plan. Instead, she realized that something about Paul looked surprisingly familiar. Some of his features resembled those of someone from her past, in fact. And other family members and friends who met Paul made the same observation.
Upon hearing his mother’s thoughts, Lee couldn’t move forward without disproving a theory she had proposed concerning Paul. The pair received assistance in conducting their research from The Jeremy Kyle Show. But that experience uncovered the disturbing truth about why Lee’s mother had recognized her son’s new boyfriend.
Lee and Paul had initially met online. According to a 2017 study by researchers from the University of New Mexico and Stanford University, a good portion of today’s couples don’t meet by happenstance or through a mutual connection. Instead, roughly 40 percent of heterosexual couples and almost two-thirds of same-sex pairs find each other via the internet.
And Paul and Lee followed this path, although their romance didn’t take off straightaway. They connected via the internet and spent the next two years sending each other text messages. After that, they finally met in person, and all of the emotions of their long courtship bubbled to the surface.
“We met in November of last year,” Paul recalled on The Jeremy Kyle Show in 2012. “It was emotional, because we’d been talking for so long.” After meeting in the flesh, the men realized they had a physical connection, too, and took their relationship to the next, more serious level.
And, as things progressed, Lee naturally decided that he wanted Paul to meet his mother, Ena, and his stepfather. Although every relationship is different, dating expert April Masini told Elite Daily in 2017 that most couples should hold off on making this step for six months to a year, since “anytime before that is too soon, because the relationship is not clear.”
Paul and Lee’s joint vision of the future had subsequently begun to crystallize. Indeed, the guys envisioned getting married and spending the rest of their lives together. As such, the time came for Paul to get to know Lee’s family ahead of their nuptials. So, Lee brought Paul to meet Ena and her husband.
And everything began just as the devoted couple would ideally want it to go – Paul and Lee’s parents instantly had a connection. As their meeting progressed, though, Ena realized that Paul bore a strange resemblance to a certain individual: her ex-husband, Ron.
“I first met Paul when Lee introduced me to him as his partner,” Ena said in a statement read aloud by TV host Jeremy Kyle. “When I saw Paul for the first time, I instantly thought that he looked like my ex-husband, Ronnie… Other people have since said the same.”
Of course, a resemblance is just that. But there was another surprising connection between Paul and Ena’s former husband. It turned out that Paul had the same surname as Ron, in fact. Still, this could have been yet another strange coincidence, although it wasn’t the last one that would be uncovered.
For instance, Paul also revealed that, as an 18-month-old child, he’d gone into foster care. He was then adopted after he turned three, and he never knew anything about his biological parents. This unknown left the door wide open as to who they could be. Ena subsequently admitted one final shocking secret of her own that seemed too coincidental to ignore.
While they were married, Ena and Ron had had four children. However, when one of them came into the world, Ron said in a statement that the busy parents hadn’t been able to cope and that they consequently “had no choice but to put him into care.” So, in short, the couple had given up a boy for adoption – and Ena never told Lee that he had a half-brother.
The sheer number of coincidences surrounding Paul and Lee’s relationship left the pair keen to find out the truth. So they enlisted the help of The Jeremy Kyle Show and, in the meantime, put a pause on their intimate relationship, just in case their worst fears were confirmed.
During their appearance on the show, Kyle poses some tough questions for Paul and Lee. “You are having a physical relationship with a man that you love and want to marry, and at some point somebody might tell you that he could be your half-brother. What does that do to you?” he asks. Lee replies, “It makes me sick. It makes me basically horrible. I can’t describe it.”
Kyle then wonders, “What’s the worst case scenario if it turns out you are brothers?” The couple seem to share a similar sentiment. “I’m hoping that it’s not true, because I love you so much it’s unreal,” Paul says. “I’m the same. It’s hard to describe how much I love you,” Lee agrees.
After that, Kyle starts delving into the research conducted in order to answer Paul and Lee’s toughest questions. First, he shares a photo of Ron, the man who was once married to Ena. Then, Kyle reads a statement from him. “I was married to Ena over 20 years ago, and when we were together we had four children,” it began.
Shockingly, Ron then reveals that they had a son named Paul, who was subsequently put up for adoption. With that, he addresses Lee’s boyfriend, who could be the Paul whom Ron once gave away all those years ago. “People say that we look like each other, and I do agree,” Ron admits.
Ron’s statement ends with his own wish as to how the situation will play out. And his preferred outcome is quite the opposite of how Paul and Lee want things to go. “I hope today that the DNA will prove him to be my son, so that we can catch up on lost time and begin forming a relationship,” Ron concludes.
With that, Kyle highlights two photos on the TV screen next to him – headshots of both Paul and Ron placed side-by-side. “Do you see a similarity?” he asks Paul. “No, I don’t,” he responds. When Kyle asks Lee the same question, he dejectedly replies in the affirmative to the host.
As it turned out, Ron had actually saved a few photos of his son, Paul, and he’d shared those images with Kyle, too. The TV host shows the pictures in question on the screen next to him. “This is before that child was adopted into care at 18 months. That could be you,” he says to Paul. But Lee’s boyfriend isn’t fully convinced the baby is him.
Next, Kyle reads aloud a statement written by Lee’s mother, Ena. In it, she reveals that she has early Alzheimer’s, so she “find[s] it difficult to remember much of the past.” And, while she knows that Lee would be devastated to learn that he’s related to Paul, she shares a similar sentiment to Ron about finding their long-lost son.
“If it turns out that Paul is my son, I would be so happy, and I would love to get to know him,” Ena’s statement concludes. With that, there’s nothing left for Kyle to reveal except the results of the DNA test. They would either confirm or deny the suspicions surrounding Paul and his relation to Lee’s mother.
Before doing so, though, Kyle gives the couple one last chance to express their feelings to each another. And the host admits that he’s never covered something “quite so emotional” on his show. After a long pause, Paul responds, “All I can say is, whatever happens, I’ll be there for you – always will be.”
And Lee apparently feels the same way. “I’ll be there for you, you know. You know that I’ll always be there as a friend,” he replies. With that, there’s nothing left for the couple to say to each another before they find out the truth. Kyle opens the envelope and then pauses as he reads the results.
“The DNA test results show that you two… you’re half brothers,” Kyle announces. Paul covers his mouth with both hands, while Lee looks down despondently before doing the same. Paul begins crying, and it’s the only sound in the room for almost half a minute. Then, the TV host proceeds to speak again.
“Paul, I mean, I can’t even begin to explain to people at home the odds, the possibility of that,” Kyle says. “As I said earlier to you, my friend, a double-edged sword: the man that you love, the man that you’ve had a physical relationship with is your brother, but you found out who your parents are.”
“I apologize for the next question, ’cause it’s ridiculous,” Kyle goes on. “But, what’s going through your mind right now?” Rather than answering the TV host’s question, however, an understandably distraught Paul stands up and walks off the set, crying as he makes his exit.
Kyle subsequently chases Paul off the set, where he finds him crying in a hallway. Even the TV host is visibly stunned. “I’ve never heard of anything like this in my life,” he states. Then, Kyle asks, “Was there any part of you that thought this was possible?” Through his tears, Paul simply replies, “No.”
Eventually, Paul and Lee make good on their promises to support each another. We see them hug, after all, as they both grapple with the devastating blow they’ve just been dealt. Later, Kyle asks the pair, “You were in a physical relationship. How do you switch that emotional feeling off?” “Not at the moment,” they respond.
Of course, as Kyle had previously mentioned, there was a strange silver lining to uncovering the truth of Paul and Lee’s biological relationship: the former finally knew the identity of his parents. The show also saw him reuniting with Ena and meeting his father, Ron, for the first time.
Kyle also provides Paul and Lee, as well as Ena and Ron, with the support of his show’s psychotherapist, Graham. “It’s going to take time to process that, and you’ll need to do it at your own speed,” Graham says. He then adds that he will give them counseling to help them through the emotional turmoil.
Obviously, a story like Paul and Lee’s would leave an impression on Jeremy Kyle viewers, as well as on the TV show host himself. So, in 2015 he caught up with the former couple to see how they were faring. And they reported that they now had a close, brotherly relationship.
During its 14-year, 16-series run, The Jeremy Kyle Show featured its fair share of stories just as unbelievable as Paul and Lee’s. And while many individuals had sad or otherwise upsetting conclusions to their storylines, other guests came onto the show and left with praise from viewers.
The latter happened when 57-year-old Ted visited the show. On his episode, Ted admitted that his five pet parrots – Jake, Bubi, Teaka, Elliem and Temineh – stood in as family members for him. “I was with nobody, and to me they were my children. They even slept in my bed,” he told Kyle.
Then, though, Ted met his girlfriend, Suzannah, with whom he had something else in common – both the parrot-lover and his significant other loved body modification. Ted himself had more than 100 tattoos, as well as screw-in horns and skin implants in the shape of stars.
But that wasn’t the reason Ted came onto The Jeremy Kyle Show, mind you. Yes, his body modification had evidently taken an avian turn. The parrot lover had had parts of his ears surgically removed so that he could look more like his beloved pets, in fact, and he hoped to have his nose reshaped into a beak.
While discussing his extreme appearance, Ted acknowledged that he’d never be able to fully resemble his flock of parrots. “Obviously I’m not going to look exactly like them,” he admitted. “They have their eyes on the side of their head. But if I could have my eyes moved, I would.”
It may sound as though Ted’s allegiance to his pets – and changing his body to look more like them – might have drummed up a backlash. However, viewers instead praised him for “living life how he wants to live it,” as a Twitter user put. Another wrote, “Do what you want to do, and be who you want to be!”
And, although Kyle himself has often had to digest dramatic or emotional tales on his show, the seasoned host seemed to be pleasantly surprised by Ted’s appearance. Kyle said he could tell the man felt content in his life and concluded, “There’s nothing wrong with being different.” But now Kyle’s eponymous talk show has been taken off the air, so Ted’s narrative and Paul and Lee’s healing will continue away from the public eye.