Charlene Downes: A week of special content is planned to mark the 20 year anniversary of teen's disappearance

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Blackpool Gazette will be running a week of special content to commemorate the 20 year anniversary since the disappearance of Charlene Downes.

This week sadly marks the 20 year anniversary since Charlene Downes disappeared from Blackpool.

14 year old Charlene went missing on Nov 01, 2003, after she visited the Carousel Bar on North Pier. She was never seen again.

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No remains have ever been found, and after two decades, there is still no conclusive evidence as to what happened to Charlene.

What content will we be publishing for Charlene’s anniversary?

Blackpool Gazette will be running a week of special content to commemorate this grim milestone. This will coincide with a brand new and exclusive feature documentary about Charlene Downes, presented by Blackpool Gazette reporter, Lucinda Herbert, which will air on Shots TV (Freeview 267) later this week.

We expect to speak with a senior investigator on the Charlene Downes case, to bring you updates on the Lancashire Police investigation.

We will look back through the photo archives and share images from key points in the timeline - including the forensic search and hearing at Preston Crown Court.

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We will bring you all of the emotive scenes from the memorial service, which will be held on Wednesday 01st November 2023 at St John’s Church in Blackpool. There’s expected to be a dove release in Charlene’s memory, and a powerful speech read out to family and friends of the Downes’ family.

Parents, Karen and Bob Downes, will speak exclusively to Blackpool Gazette in a special 20th anniversary interview, which will be published on Wednesday.

In a special report, Lucinda will explore the issue of child sexual exploitation in Blackpool. Charlene’s disappearance uncovered a previously-hidden problem with grooming gangs in the resort, which led to a multi agency task force, called Project Awaken, being set up to tackle the issue in 2004. But has the problem gone away?

The week will culminate with a touching video message from one of Charlene’s favourite celebrities, and a look forward at what could be the next step in Charlene’s story.

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Where can I watch the Charlene Downes documentary?

The documentary about Charlene Downes will premiere on Shots TV (Freeview channel 276) later this week. The exact air date and time is TBC. It is a free to view channel.

It will also be available to watch online, at

Blackpool Gazette reporter, Lucinda Herbert, will present this feature-length documentary, where she will attempt to find out what really could have happened to Charlene and why, after two decades, nobody has ever been brought to justice.

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