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24 years on since Ben Needham went missing

The 24th anniversary of Ben Needham's disappearance from Kos is being marked today, as officers from Operation Ben reveal information for the first time about their investigations in Greece earlier this year.

Ben, aged 21 months, vanished from outside the farmhouse his grandad Eddie was renovating in the north of the island.

For more than two decades the Needhams have believed a prisoner in a Greek jail and a notorious criminal family in the north of the country had vital evidence about Ben's whereabouts

After 24 years they have finally been interviewed, and what they said may have changed the course of the investigation.

Mark Witty reports:


New information in search for Ben Needham

Police investigating the disappearance of Ben Needham have revealed information about a recent trip to Greece, where they interviewed people who have been linked to the case for two decades.

24 years ago today Ben Needham went missing

Ben was 21 months old when he disappeared from the island of Kos 24 years ago today.

Detectives say they have spoken to a prisoner in jail who claimed to know Ben's whereabouts 19 years ago. Detective Inspector Jon Cousins from South Yorkshire Police says officers are analysing the testimony to see if the man's evidence is plausible.

Police to examine fresh lead in Ben Needham case

Police in South Yorkshire are to examine another lead which emerged after the case of Ben Needham was featured on Greek TV last night.

It is the second time in a week the story has taken centre stage on one of the country's most popular programmes.

Calendar's interview with Det Insp Jon Cousins and Det Supt Matt Fenwick was broadcast on Greek TV last night

The programme "Light at the End of the Tunnel" ran updates on the show last night after an appearance by Ben's family and South Yorkshire Police the week before prompted hundred of calls and emails about Ben's disappearance from Kos in July 1991.

That appeal created seven leads described by South Yorkshire Police as "potentially interesting".

Last night the programme ran Calendar footage of Kerry's reaction back in the UK and spoke to the Greek-born Police Inspector Panos Dedes , who has been seconded to South Yorkshire from Northumbria Police, who appealed for information.

Insp Panos Dedes during Skype interview

Earlier in the programme a picture was sent which the presenter , Aggeliki Nikolouli, clearly believed had a resemblance to Ben .

Greek TV presenter Aggeliki Nikolouli looks at photo sent in

This was forwarded to Inspector Dedes to show the Operation Ben team and the Needham family, who were watching the programme through a live web link.

It could be a number of weeks until all the calls from the programme on May 15 are followed up, but Kerry believes the Greek public have a major part to play in solving the family's 24-year agony.

Kerry Needham to appeal on Greek TV

The family of Ben Needham will lead a fresh appeal on Greek television tonight for information into the toddler's disappearance 24 years ago.

Ben went missing 24 years ago

Ben's mother, Kerry, and South Yorkshire Police investigators will appear on the programme Light at the End of the Tunnel which tries to reunite missing people with their families


Calendar producer to appear on new Greek TV appeal for missing Ben

Calendar producer Mark Witty has made a film which will be broadcast to million in a major appeal on Greek television to try and find Ben Needham who vanished as a toddler on the holiday island of Kos almost 24 years ago.

Ben's mother Kerry, grandmother Christine and sister Leighanna will also take part in Friday's televised appeal alongside the new inquiry into his disapperance.

Also travelling to Greece to appear on the programme will be Calendar producer Mark Witty who spoke to Duncan Wood and Gaynor Barnes.

Fresh appeal to be broadcast on Greek TV for missing Ben

A major appeal is to be made on Greek television by both South Yorkshire police and the family of Ben Needham to try and find Ben who vanished as a toddler on the holiday island of Kos almost 24 years ago.

The detective leading the new - year long inquiry - into his disappearance will be alongside Ben's mother Kerry, grandmother Christine and sister Leighanna in Athens on Friday night to make the appeal.

Also travelling to Greece to appear on the programme will be Calendar's producer Mark Witty who has made a film which will be shown to millions on Friday.

Ben Needham's family and detectives to make Greek TV appeal

South Yorkshire Police will make their first ever television appeal in Greece on Friday for information about the disappearance of Ben Needham

Two officers, including Detective Superintendent Matt Fenwick who is in charge of the case in the UK, will appear alongside Ben's mother Kerry, Ben's grandmother Christine and sister Leighanna.

The programme, called "Light at the End of the Tunnel" features cases of missing people and reaches millions of viewers in Greece. The show will give information about "Operation Ben" which was launched after a recent Home Office grant of £700,000 .

Calendar producer Mark Witty has also been invited onto the show by producers - the programme will feature two films made by Calendar as part of the appeal. ITV Yorkshire and "Light at the end of the Tunnel" have co-operated considerably since the 20th anniversary of Ben's disappearance in 2011.

Appeals made by the show, with Calendar's help, have brought forward a number of people with information. Some of the people who contacted the programme are being contacted by South Yorkshire Police as part of Operation Ben.

Ben disappeared from the Greek island of Kos in July 1991. Since then there have been hundreds of sightings but no trace of the toddler, who was 21 months old at the time.

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