Channel 5 has commissioned ITN Productions to make a new 4 x 60’ weekly series, Vanished, focussing on people who have gone missing across the UK.

Presented live by 5 News’ Dan Walker, it will focus on current stories of missing persons as well as cases from the past few years.

Every 90 seconds someone is reported missing in the UK. Most are found within hours, many are located in a matter of days… but there are some who seem to vanish, often with little or no trace.

And there are more than 5,000 people – a third of them children – who have been missing for over a year.

Dan Walker will speak directly to loved ones, families and friends plus police and experts from missing people charities. All the stories “will be handled sensitively and with the duty of care of all those taking part of paramount importance.”

There are 170,000 people reported missing every year and while some receive widespread media attention, others do not.

The programme will feature current incidents, with appeals for information and helplines for missing people to contact. It will give updates on recent cases including positive resolutions and will explore previous investigations – some of them high-profile cases – which remain unsolved. The series will also have the support of leading missing persons charities.

Dan will be joined in the studio by family and friends plus police, investigators and counsellors.

Dan Walker said: “The tragic case of Nicola Bulley highlighted the desperate situation that the families of missing persons find themselves in. It also showed us the importance of responsible journalism and brought into focus the role the public can play during a live investigation. We want Vanished to assist the police and also support the families and loved ones of some of the thousands of people who go missing every year.”

Daniel Pearl, Commissioning Editor, Unscripted, Paramount+ & Channel 5 said: “This is an important and urgent series that we hope will shine a light on the less well-publicised cases – as well as those more well-known – in an attempt to raise national awareness and uncover useful evidence. It is clearly a sensitive and emotional subject, and ITN Productions will work closely with the families, friends and the primary organisations (including relevant police forces and charities) involved in missing persons cases.”

Ian Rumsey, Managing Director of Television, ITN Productions added: “The figures around missing persons cases are shocking, and the stories are often heart-breaking.  There are a vast number of reasons why people go missing in the UK – and each case has its own unique causes and consequences. This is an important series for us to make and the stories we highlight will be handled sensitively.”

The series has been commissioned by Daniel Pearl, Commissioning Editor, Unscripted, Paramount+ & Channel 5 and will be Executive Produced by Ian Rumsey, Managing Director of Television, ITN Productions. Details of TX will be announced shortly.


Jon Creamer

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