The accepted version of events surrounding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has “significantly changed”, detectives have said.
It comes as pictures of men seen in and around the Portuguese town of Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance will be released as part of a BBC Crimewatch appeal tonight to identify the men and eliminate innocent sightings, Scotland Yard said.
A short clip has been released ahead of the broadcast showing a reconstructed scene of Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry playing tennis.
Madeleine, dressed in pink shorts, a light pink T-shirt and pink hat, then runs across the court, clutching a batch of tennis balls.
A full reconstruction lasting 25 minutes will feature in the programme, which airs at 9pm.
In another clip, the McCanns are asked how often they think of their daughter, who went missing when she was three years old on May 3 2007 from a holiday apartment as her parents dined at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends.
Mr McCann says: “When it’s a special occasion, when you should be your happiest and Madeleine’s not there, that’s when it really hits home. Obviously, Madeleine’s birthday goes without saying.”
Mrs McCann adds: “It’s when you have big family occasions really. That’s it isn’t it? ‘Family occasion’ and you haven’t got your complete family.”
Ahead of the programme, senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said: “The timeline we have now established has given new significance to sightings and movements of people in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.
“Our work to date has significantly changed the timeline and the accepted version of events that has been in the public domain to date.
“It has allowed us to work with Crimewatch to build the most detailed reconstruction as yet, and highlight very specific appeal points.”
An incident room will be staffed during the appeal which will also be shown in Germany and Holland.