The mother of a missing 17-year-old boy who appeared on the Channel 4 show Family Brat Camp last year, has sent out a heartfelt plea through the Oxford Mail for her son to come home.

Ben Tait, from Headington, Oxford, was last seen at his home in Stile Road on Sunday, October 28, and reported missing by his family last Friday.

Police are working with Ben's parents to help trace the missing teenager and now his mother, Jennifer Tait, has appealed for him to contact home.

Ben and his parents featured in the TV programme at the end of last year, as they went on the programme to help tackle his anger issues and drink and drug problems.

The teenager was a former pupil at Wheatley Park School, where he was asked to leave, and more recently Cherwell College, in Paradise Street, Oxford.

Mrs Tait said she was worried the reason he had not yet contacted her or her husband, Matthew, was because he thought he might be in trouble.

She said: "We're desperate for Ben to contact us and let us know that he's alright.

"I'm worried that the reason he hasn't been in touch sooner is because he thinks he is in trouble.

"We just want to reassure him, wherever he is, that he is not in trouble and that we just want to hear from him."

Family Brat Camp is a reality TV show about misbehaving teenagers who are sent away to a special camp in the desert in Idaho, in the US, with their parents, to help control their wild ways.

Mrs Tait said she now thought the police were going to start searching further afield as they believed there was a chance Ben might have left Oxford.

She said: "I'm worried that he's out there alone and frightened.

He should know that we will always look after him, but if he's scared I don't know what he will do."

Paul Garbett, missing persons co-ordinator for Oxford police, said: "I would urge him to get in touch with his family as soon as possible."

Anyone who has seen or spoken to Ben should call Thames Valley Police on 08458 505505.