When Greg Wise takes centre stage in the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom, nobody will be cheering louder than his proud family.
The actor and his wife Dame Emma Thompson have a daughter, Gaia, born in 1999, and they informally adopted Tindyebwa Agaba, a Rwandan orphan and former child soldier, four years later.
And 21-year-old Gaia is already following in her parents’ footsteps and showing off her acting skills, with several big roles to her name.
She starred alongside her mum in A Walk in the Woods and Last Chance Harvey, but she’s also taken to the stage for a part in the West End’s Sweeney Todd.
Her IMBd page also reveals she’s got another three exciting projects in the pipeline – A Book About Her, Shooting Star and A Love Worth Fighting For.
Earlier this year, Gaia bravely opened up about her battle with anorexia.
Sharing her story on social media alongside photos, she wrote: “So, many people are posting fabulous bodily changes they have achieved either over the past few years, or over lockdown. The majority I have seen are about weight loss.
“I decided to share something a little different; my journey from anorexia to a healthy body. Much of it has been a battle but I’m now 18months in a stable and happy weight range.
“I was terrified of sharing this but I thought that it might be useful to see the polar opposite…who knows…it might even be helpful to another human.
“I don’t know but I know sharing takes me even further out of the shame of an eating disorder. Anorexia is the most deadly mental illness that exists in humans and – even on days I STRUGGLE UGH – I’m so proud that I have moved from the left to the right (figuratively in this pic…ha!).
“Since the first picture was taken the biggest thing that has changed is that I have moved into my own flat. It doesn’t seem massive but if you had told me 16 months ago I would have been secure, stable and happy enough to look after a home, i probably would’ve slapped you across the face to make you see sense.
“And yet here we are. I have tagged some incredible humans without whom I wouldn’t have been able to complete this journey but there are a lot of you out there and I hope you know how much I cherish you.”
Gaia made her catwalk debut earlier this month when she joined the This is Icon gala in London, raising cash for NHS Charities.
She said: “I’m so happy my parents came to support me this evening.
“I know he has a special place in his heart for the NHS and all their amazing work and mum loves the work that WellChild do too. Now this is over it’s our turn to support him, he’s taking Strictly so seriously and I’ve seen him dance and I think he actually could win! I’ll be cheering him all the way.”
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Emma was in the audience supporting her daughter, later saying: “I came to surprise my daughter tonight and I am so proud of her doing this show and she looked sensational and my husband he’s off dancing its sequins galore in our house right now!”
Her brother, Tindyebwa, graduated with two degrees and can now speak eight languages. He works as an humanitarian for a specialist arm of the Metropolitan Police, helping other refugees.
Speaking about the job, Greg said: “Tindy is just about to start a job there and he’s doing some very interesting things for them – an adjunct of the work he was doing in war zones.
“Helping struggling people, working with victims of trafficking and radicalisation… that kind of thing.
“It’s a very rewarding thing to have happened.”
Tindy’s biological father died of AIDs when he was just nine, and when he was 12, soldiers with machine guns stormed his village to kidnap its children.
He was rounded up along with nine other children and marched across unfamiliar bush for days.
His next memory is of arriving at a prison camp where he would remain for three years – to be radicalised, brainwashed and trained as a child soldier.
Aged 16, having finally escaped Rwanda, thanks to the kindness of a charity worker at Care International, he boarded a flight for London to claim asylum.
But he ended up living a difficult life, sleeping rough on the streets around London’s Trafalgar Square.
He met Emma when she offered him help at a Refugee Council event, before tracking him down again and inviting him round for a Christmas Eve dinner.
That dinner turned into regular stays at her £15million house in West Hampstead, North London, where he was given his own room, and that turned to whole weekends, and whole weeks.
In the end, Emma and Greg adopted him “informally” – as by then, Tindy was enough to make his own legal decisions, and he moved in with the family permanently.
Speaking about the reasons they decided to informally adopt Tindy, Emma has previously said: “Sometimes being friends is not enough.
“You need family. I think we don’t talk enough about the happiness that it gives you to find new connections with strangers and people who aren’t familiar to you.”Internet Explorer Channel Network