Missing Pieces

Tuesday, February 24th at 8pm

This week sees emotions run high when after 17 years without contact Stacey Mullen attempts to meet her Dad on the new local series Missing Pieces, screening Tuesday, February 24th at 8pm on 3.

Stacey Mullen was the result of a one-night stand between two old school friends. But after her father Dale disappeared to Australia she completely lost contact with his side of her family.

Now, after 17 years without as much as a word exchanged between father and daughter, Stacey wants to finally meet her Dad, but catching up with a runaway father will be no simple task.

Series producer David Lomas says the episode is one of the most emotional pieces of television his ever seen or been involved in. “This was quite a remarkable re-union,” reveals Lomas.

“While the actual meeting was quite low key it was clear from the start that Stacey and her Dad hit it off.”

“The first day they met they just didn’t stop talking. They went out to a bar that first night and were out till 2am just catching up.”

And according to Lomas this initial meeting proved such a success that Dale invited his daughter to meet the rest of her long-lost family.

“Then when Stacey and Dale went to Oamaru there was a home coming party at Dale’s mother’s house – again it was a late night. When Stacey left she cried all the way back to Dunedin from Oamaru.”

And while the reunion was a success, not even Stacey could have predicted what would happen next. “As mentioned in the programme Stacey is moving to Australia to live with Dale and his Australian partner,” says Lomas.

However despite the success of the reunion it wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Missing Pieces producer and crew. “There is so much we have to leave out of programmes. But tracking Dale down was quite difficult and he was a bit of a fibber. We were watching him when he said he was at work but was really having a drink in a bar.”

“When I first met up with him he was very suspicious and actually turned up quite early and checked the whole area to try and find out whether I was a police officer or immigration. He was worried he was being set up.”

But luckily for Dale the only set-up was the one with his daughter. Make sure not to miss this emotional reunion when Missing Pieces screens on Tuesday, February 24th at 8pm on 3.

WATCH & WIN WITH ‘MISSING PIECES’!

3 is giving you the chance to win one of two Samsung, 32” Series 5 LCD TVs.

Watch episode one and two of Missing Pieces – 8pm Tuesday, (or watch it On Demand here), answer the episode specific question below, and you could be watching the rest of the series in style (and in HD!).

Entries close Tuesday 24th Feb 2009.

Visit: tv3.co.nz to be in to win.

Tuesday, February 10th at 8pm

Missing Pieces, the ground breaking new local series which re-unites people with a past they thought they had lost, premieres on Tuesday, February 10th at 8pm on 3.

Narrated by 3 News Mike McRoberts, Missing Pieces tells the stories of surprise re-unions. Each tale starts with a down the barrel video “plea” from the seeker, explaining who they are looking for and why. Then the viewer is taken on a journey as the Missing Pieces team of investigative journalists traces the lost child, parent, friend or lover.

Series producer David Lomas says the initial contact with the person being sought was always the difficult part and had to be handled carefully. 

“We were dealing with unique, sometimes extremely sensitive situations,” he says. 

“In one case we had to tell a 70-year-old man he was the father of a daughter he did not know existed. She was critically ill in hospital in Brisbane and was seeking blood relatives for a bone marrow transplant.

“In another we had to convince a woman living in the backblocks of Australia that she should meet the daughter she abandoned when the child was two years old. The mother just walked out of her home in West Auckland and left her daughter with a neighbour. The daughter is now 38 and has terminal cancer.”

With taped phone calls and covert filming, the viewer sees and hears the actual reaction of person sought when they are first approached. 

“It is eavesdropping on real life,” says Lomas. “Some people are overjoyed they have been found. Others are very suspicious.”

And this week’s re-unions are no different; in the premiere episode we meet 12-year-old Ashlee Woods who’s been an orphan since she was 14. With no brothers or sisters she believes she is alone in the world. 

Then a family friend reveals a secret from her father’s past. He has a son living in Australia. But Ashlee has no idea where. The search takes Ashlee from Hastings to Melbourne where there is another family surprise. 

Make sure not to miss this emotional reunion when the ground-breaking Missing Pieces premieres on Tuesday, February 10th at 8pm on 3.