It is Brian, her Trinidad-born father who she has only seen “a handful of times” that casually informed Ms Harris that his siblings and their families moved from Hornsey to her native Muswell Hill and “stayed in that area”.
“They stayed in Muswell Hill? The whole time? They never moved? Wow. So they were just up the road from me throughout my entire… gosh it’s all coming out now,” the actress responds.
“That’s so weird that I never ever met them and we were so close, we were probably streets apart.”
During the programme, Ms Harris was forced to confront the uncomfortable truth that her four times great grandfather, James Langdon was an overseer of slaves at the Requin estate in the Caribbean.
She said her distant relative was probably “not a very nice human being. Very brutal I would imagine”.
“It would almost be better if he was the owner because the owner is removed from the brutality whereas James Langdon is right in the heart of all of that.”
Her ancestor’s involvement in the slave trade was “repugnant” and “deeply upsetting” Ms Harris said.
Researching the family history of her Jamaican-born mother, Ms Harris discovered her maternal four times great grandfather was born into slavery and started working on a plantation aged-six.