Ben Needham
Ben before he disappeared in 1991, and how he might look now aged 25.South Yorkshire Police

A man has claimed he is missing Briton Ben Needham.

Ben was 21-months-old when he vanished during a family holiday on the island of Kos 24 years ago in 1991.

After Ben's family made an emotional appeal for information on Greek TV detectives were contacted by a man who believes he 'resembles' Ben.

South Yorkshire Police confirmed the reports saying "a number of calls" were received after the appeal on TV last night.

Ben's mother Kerry and grandmother Christine took part in the three-hour TV show on 15 April along with his sister Leighanna.

In an emotional appeal Ben's mother said: "Please end the pain that my family is suffering. I know he's out there somewhere. Please call the police and please put an end to this."

The show, called Light At The End Of The Tunnel focuses on missing people and broadcasts to around 50 per cent of the Greek TV audience.

Commenting on the TV show Mrs Needham wrote on her fundraising site: "As part of the launch of operation Ben I have arrived in Athens this morning with my family and detectives from South Yorkshire Police. During our five days here we will be meeting the British ambassador for the first time in 23 years to discuss Ben's case.

"Myself and family along with British detectives will be appearing on the Greek missing programme Nikolouli as well as holding a press conference with all Greek media as well as any British media. We sincerely hope this will lead to more people coming forward with new information and will help the British and Greek police investigate into the whereabouts of Ben... Once again we would like to thank you all for your continued support."

In January, South Yorkshire Police were granted £700,000 of Home Office funding to support the Greek authorities to continue to search for Ben. The force asked for the financial help to follow up information the family believes has never been properly investigated.

The Home Office backed a South Yorkshire Police operation in 2012 when land was excavated on Kos, near the farmhouse from where Ben went missing. No trace of him was found.

And last year, a DNA test on a young man featured in video footage shot in Cyprus proved negative

Ben Needham appeal
Ben Needhams mother Kerry (left), sister Leighanna (centre) and grandmother Christine (right) took part in the appeal aired on Alpha TV in Greece.South Yorkshire Police

His mother has always maintained her son remains alive. If so, he would now be 25.

"It is just a feeling I have inside myself," she said. "It feels like he is saying 'come on I am here, come and get me'. I believe he's out there, I don't think it's going to be long, we are going to get somewhere. I am hopeful, anyway. I want him to know, as his mum, I love him as much today as the day he was born. I will never, never stop looking for him."

Detectives are investigating new leads, including potential sightings of missing Ben Needham which 'will be looked at in detail'.

Ben's disappearance sparked an international missing person's hunt that dominated the world's headlines. There have since been a number of possible sightings and theories about what happened to the youngster, who would now be 25.

The man who has come forward as a result of the latest appeal will be contacted by police and will be required to undergo a DNA test to determine whether he is missing Ben Needham.