Missing returns for series 2

by Lisa McGarry

Pauline Quirke returns to BBC One Daytime as DS Croft in an extended run of the critically-acclaimed and popular drama Missing set in a busy Missing Persons Unit. Pauline plays MJ, the charismatic detective who runs the under-resourced unit.

But there are surprises in store for MJ as her estranged father, played by Roy Hudd, steps back into her life.

Says Pauline: “I grew up with Roy Hudd regularly on the telly, he was so much part of my life. So obviously I was chuffed to bits to work with him, he was great fun. Roy said that when he told people that he was playing my dad, they said, ‘you and Pauline will be worth watching together’.”

Liam Keelan, Controller of BBC Daytime, commissioned 10 new episodes, doubling the run of the first series.

Says Liam Keelan: “We have seen how successful combining drama and factual programming has been in BBC Daytime – extending the run of the Missing drama will create an even greater sense of event.”

Also returning are Mark Wingett as radio DJ Danny Hayworth, Felix Scott as DC Jason Doyle, and Pooja Shah as Amy Garnett.

Joining this new extended series as regular guest stars are Roy Hudd (Coronation Street) as MJ’s father Jack and Adjoa Andoh (Casualty) as DCI Ford.

And continuing the stellar guest star line-up the cast also includes Sian Phillips, Sylvia Syms, Paul Nicholas, Brooke Kinsella, Gary Lucy, Kate Ford, Gillian Taylforth, James Alexandrou, Kim Medcalf, Gaby Roslin, John Culshaw, Jean Boht, and Susannah York.

Series one saw MJ reunited with her wayward sister Ellen (Helen Baker), after believing for many years that she had died in a fire in a hostel.

One year on, and MJ is happy with her new relationship with her sister but will the return of her father Jack be welcomed by both sisters, and is he really the reformed character he claims to be?

Danny Hayworth has now established himself in his new career as a radio DJ and his missing persons feature is one of the station’s most popular programmes.

Amy Garnett, meanwhile, struggles when Jason Doyle – who has matured into a key part of the MPU team and has been selected by MJ to take his sergeant’s exams – suddenly ends their office love affair.

Missing is produced by Julie Press and executive produced by Joey Attawia, James Burstall and Susie Field.

It is written by Matthew Leys, Karen McLachlan, Martin Jameson, Mark Clompus, Mark Cairns, Chris Murray, Debbie O’Malley and Hilary Frankland.

Missing is a Sea Leopard production for the BBC. The executive producer for the BBC is Gerard Melling.

And to accompany the drama, real-life cases are explored in Missing Live which returns to BBC One Daytime following another hugely successful run last year.

In the studio, presenter Louise Minchin will be talking to family, friends and experts, exploring the heartbreaking stories of people currently missing.

While, new for this series, Rav Wilding meets those who have been safely found, telling their incredible stories. He also goes out with the specialist units to witness first-hand their expertise and tools of the trade.

And actress Pauline Quirke will be joining the Metropolitan Police’s Missing Person’s Unit on the streets of Hackney – the area where she grew up – to experience firsthand the remarkable work of the real-life police officers who work tirelessly to find the people who are sadly reported missing every year. Her special reports will be featured in Missing Live.

The series also retraces the steps of five individuals who, at one time in their lives, went missing. They are joined on their emotional journey by celebrities who help them to recount their stories and discover what was going through their minds at the time. They talk candidly about how they survived and were eventually able to return home.

Missing Live will also be asking viewers for assistance with regular appeals on new and urgent cases and some long-term mysteries, in a live and fully interactive series.

During the last series 11 of the missing people featured on the programme were found, with calls from members of the public also giving charities and the police new leads on long-term cases.

The programme is on BBC One Daytime each weekday morning for two weeks, and sees missing people reunited with the people who helped to find them.