BBC In Search of Missing People

BBC producers were in Edinburgh, last week, filming part of a new series of the BBC One programme, ‘Missing Live’, which is due to air in early Spring next year.

The second series of the daytime BBC show will be aired every weekday for a four week period in March and April 2009. Each live studio programme is 45 minutes long and will highlight three missing person cases in each episode, with what Assistant Producer, Dave Read describes as a ‘Crime Watch-like’ format, showing reconstructions which aim to trigger viewer’s memories, as to whether they may have seen the missing person in question, and appealing for people with information to call into the show or a missing persons helpline.

Mr Read, 27, said:  “The show is about getting all of the details out there because you never know what might trigger someone’s memory…you have to go pretty deep (in investigating a person’s disappearance), it’s important to get across the type of person they were.

It’s just getting that one little thing where somebody goes ‘Oh, he liked pool; I saw him in a pool hall somewhere’, so it is really important to tell people’s stories and get even the smallest details out there.”

The programmes producers work closely with the charity Missing People and various police forces around the country. In it’s first series, ‘Missing Live’ investigated sixty individual missing person cases and managed to help reunite twenty of those families. And Mr Reid remains hopeful that the ‘Missing Live’ team can bring even more happiness to families nationwide this time around.

“Reuniting twenty of the sixty last year, it’s not the best but that was the first series and hopefully this year we can build on that…the thing about missing people is that every case is so individual to the person, there are so many different circumstances and different variables so it’s impossible to tell how successful this series will be but obviously we want to bring them all home to their families.”

The show investigates the disappearances of missing people throughout the UK and is to feature the story of a man who was thought to have spent some time in the Edinburgh area after his disappearance from Arbroath, Tayside in August 2007.

Iain Mowatt, 32 at the time of his disappearance, has been missing from his home in the North Grimsby area of Arbroath, Tayside, since Sunday 12 August 2007. He was known to be “at a low ebb” at the time of his disappearance and police searches have previously taken place around Arbroath cliffs and harbour. He was last seen by CCTV cameras on the Monday 13 August 2007 wearing a grey hooded top, a green and white hooped Celtic shirt, combat trousers and white trainers. He is 6ft 4″ tall, has brown hair and has blue eyes.

It is believed that Iain spent some time in Edinburgh, around the Grassmarket and Cowgate area, after a family member found that he had signed in to use the facilities at a nearby soup kitchen, a while after he had initially gone missing. This revelation, amongst other factors, are what attracted the BBC to this case in particular.

If you have any information regarding any person reported missing you can contact Missing People by email: seensomeone@missingpeople.org.uk or by telepone: 0500 700 700.