TV

The Other One actor Christopher Jeffers found five new siblings after taking DNA test

Patrick Kelleher May 27, 2022
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Christopher Jeffers as Callum in The Other One.

Christopher Jeffers as Callum in The Other One. (BBC)

Christopher Jeffers could never have known when he auditioned for BBC Three’s The Other One that his character’s arc would so closely match his own life.

In The Other One, Christopher plays Callum, a builder and part-time model who discovers he has two sisters he never knew about. The only problem is that he has already kissed one of them in a pub.

Thankfully, Christopher has never accidentally snogged a sibling, but he has had the unusual experience of discovering family he never knew he had.

“Around four years ago, I found four new sisters and a brother, as well as my biological dad,” Christopher tells PinkNews. “That was a whole experience to navigate through. It was really interesting exploring Callum’s journey through that because obviously there are a lot of similarities, especially on the emotional side – dealing with new energies of people who are blood relatives because they’re all so different.”

The Other One star Christopher Jeffers discovered his birth father through a DNA test

Christopher discovered his birth father and his siblings after he did an Ancestry DNA test, which can link people up with close blood relatives who have also taken a test.

The cast of The Other One.
The cast of The Other One. (BBC)

“I matched with a woman, we started talking, and eventually we figured out that she’s my grandmother’s sister, who’s my father’s auntie, and she kind of put two and two together. There’s only my dad who’s a male of that age in the family so she worked it out quite quickly.

I was accepted with open arms straight away, but it was a crazy experience to go through as an adult.

“He didn’t know about any of this, so she told him and everything kicked off. I met with him in Manchester and we just sat across a table from each other and talked for hours, and then slowly he introduced me to his wife, and then my sisters one by one. They were all just such a great big family and they’re very, very close. I was accepted with open arms straight away, but it was a crazy experience to go through as an adult.”

It was a wild and wonderful experience for Christopher, but in some ways, it didn’t come as a total shock – he always knew he had a biological father out there somewhere, he just didn’t know who he was. He thinks it was a bigger shock for his birth father, who had no idea he had another child out there.

“I never thought I’d be able to find him because I didn’t know anything about him, even his name,” Christopher says. “So when I did find them, yeah, it was scary, but it was also exciting, because it was almost like the other half of me, a piece of me and where I came from was now about to make sense finally. It helped me make peace with the fact that I’m now an adult and this is where I am in life. To have that door be opened up at that point was terrifying, but ultimately a really exciting time for me.”

Christopher Jeffers in The Other One.
Christopher Jeffers in The Other One. (BBC)

Thankfully, Christopher has been able to build a strong relationship with his birth father and his siblings since they came into contact four years ago.

“Because I am a part of them, there is this feeling that I just fit in. The energy is different and the conversations are different. It’s really, really nice to have my parents and my sister who I grew up with and to also have this whole new family that I also belong to. It’s just extending the whole family.”

It immediately gave me a sense of connection to him, and it felt great that I could tell this story from a place of authenticity.

Christopher didn’t know when he auditioned for The Other One that Callum’s story would mirror his own.

“When I auditioned for the part I didn’t know too much about Callum’s story. I just knew that he would have a key role in series two, so I went in and read the part, and when I got the script and read it, I was like: ‘Oh wow, this is a bit crazy.’ But also, it immediately gave me a sense of connection to him, and it felt great that I could tell this story from a place of authenticity because I’ve been through what he’s been through.”

That wasn’t always easy, of course – telling a story that so closely matches your own on screen comes with its own challenges.

“I had to allow myself to be vulnerable and open up to tell that truth as me, so I had to work on being comfortable and thinking about how I genuinely did feel about the situation, and then I could explore it in the work. That was a little bit scary and I was a bit overcome, but it was a journey that ultimately was really beneficial for me, not only in my work but also in my personal life.”

DNA tests can open doors – but they should also be used with caution

Christopher is keenly aware that his story will likely encourage others out there to do a DNA test in a search for family. He couldn’t recommend it more highly – but he says people should go into it with their eyes wide open.

“If you’re curious about it and you want to explore, then absolutely, go for it. However you have to be careful, because you never know what you might find. It’s not only about how you feel, it’s also about how the other people involved feel about it.”

He continues: “I know someone who had a similar situation but their relatives just don’t want to know them or have a relationship, so how do you deal with that? You now have this information and you want a relationship or a connection or a conversation, but they’re not willing to do that. That could be upsetting or disappointing, or that could cause more hurt than good.”

Christopher’s experience has been positive, but people need to be aware that it might not always work out so well.

“Prepare yourself for every scenario that could come out of it,” he says.

The Other One series two is airing on BBC One and iPlayer now.

 

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