Today show host brought to tears on air: 'So powerful'

Marni Dixit
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

Today show host Allison Langdon teared up on Friday morning while discussing the particularly "powerful" story of Saroo and Sue Brierley.

Saroo, who's story and book Lion inspired the Oscar-nominated film of the same name starring Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel, was born into poverty in central India.

Today Show's Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon
Allison Langdon was unable to hold back tears during an interview on the Today Show on Friday. Photo: Nine

One night in 1986, the then five-year-old was separated from his brother Guddu at a busy train station. After falling asleep on a bench and awakening to find his brother was still gone, Saroo ended up on a train, travelling thousands of kilometres away from home.

Saroo managed to survive for weeks in Calcutta all alone before he was placed into an orphanage where Sue and John Brierley found him and fell in love. Seven months later, Saroo would fly to Hobart.

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In 2012, after years of searching on Google Earth, Saroo found his village of Khandwa.

In 2013, in an episode of 60 Minutes, Allison interviewed Saroo and Sue with the show flying Sue over to India to meet Saroo's birth mother Fatima Munshi.

Allison covered Sue and Saroo's story in 2013 for 60 Minutes and called it the "most powerful" moment she'd witnessed on the show. Photo: Nine
Allison covered Sue and Saroo's story in 2013 for 60 Minutes and called it the "most powerful" moment she'd witnessed on the show. Photo: Nine

The meeting was an emotional one with the mothers embracing in a long hug as they thanked each other for looking after their son.

Watching the footage back, Allison was once again moved to tears.

Karl Stefanovic realised his co-host was crying and offered her a tissue.

"Boy, that moment was powerful, wasn't it," he said. "You got pretty emotional just watching it, it was as if you were there again."

"It was," she replied. "It was such a moment because we took Sue back to India for the first time to meet Fatima and this moment where you have birth mother and adoptive mother meeting for the first time. I will even just - even just watching that now, it was so powerful."

"It was the most powerful moment that I have ever witnessed on 60 Minutes".

Karl tried to give Allison a tissue, but she refused it. Photo: Nine
Karl tried to give Allison a tissue, but she refused it. Photo: Nine

The hosts crossed to Sue and Saroo with Sue seen wiping a tear away from her cheek.

"I am just a wreck," she said, clearly touched by the footage.

Saroo said of the moment, "It was such a euphoric moment. I couldn't really - I can't really put into words but the tactility you see it speaks for itself."

"I guess it is a point of time where two souls rest in peace.

"I just couldn't give up, because I wasn't a child that was abandoned, I was a child that accidentally got lost... it was like a massive void in my life that I had to sort of fill and at a young age I didn't have the answers."

The mother and son appeared on the show as they both have new books out today with Sue's memoir Lioness featuring her side of the story and exploring her troubled childhood.

Saroo's book is a children's book called Little Lion: A Long Way Home, with both the mother and son's books talking to the importance of never giving up.

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