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Lawyer 'rubbishes' story fuelling rife speculation over BBC presenter

The BBC finds itself at the centre of the news in the UK following the claims.
The BBC finds itself at the centre of the news in the UK following the claims. Copyright AFP
Copyright AFP
By Euronews with AP
Published on Updated
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A newspaper first reported claims one BBC star paid a teen for explicit pictures - something a lawyer representing the young person has denied.


British police have asked the BBC to pause their investigation into allegations that a leading presenter paid a teenager for sexually explicit photos while they make inquiries. 

The claims surrounding the unnamed presenter led to online speculation about who it could be, with many prominent stars announcing they're not being investigated.

Police say they have not opened a criminal investigation as things stand.

In a further twist, a lawyer for the young person denied anything inappropriate had happened.

The broadcaster has suspended the male star over allegations he gave a young person tens of thousands of pounds since 2020 when they were 17.

Though the age of sexual consent in Britain is 16, it is a crime to make or possess indecent images of anyone under 18.

The Sun newspaper, which first reported the allegations, said the youth's mother had complained to the BBC in May but the presenter had remained on the air. 

The parents then went to the tabloid with the story.

However, a lawyer for the young person — who also has not been named — told BBC News “nothing inappropriate or unlawful has taken place between our client and the BBC personality.” 

They called the allegations reported in The Sun “rubbish”.

The newspaper defended its actions, saying it “reported a story about two very concerned parents who made a complaint to the BBC about the behaviour of a presenter and the welfare of their child.”

“Their complaint was not acted upon by the BBC. We have seen evidence that supports their concerns. It’s now for the BBC to properly investigate,” it added.

Meanwhile, BBC News reported later on Tuesday that another young person - with no connection to the initial allegations - told them they felt threatened by the presenter.

This person in their early twenties said they were first contacted anonymously on a dating app and were put under pressure to meet up, but never did. 

When the young person hinted they may name the presenter, they said they were sent abusive messages. 


Timeline of events

In a statement released on Tuesday, the BBC said it had been asked to pause its investigations into the initial allegations "while the police scope future work". 

"The BBC has processes and protocols for receiving and managing complaints when they are first made," it added. "We always take these matters extremely seriously and seek to manage them with the appropriate duty of care."

The publically-funded broadcaster released a timeline of events which stated it made only two attempts to contact the complainant.


Their timeline also shows that the first conversation between senior management and the presenter didn't happen until last Thursday, after the corporation was contacted by The Sun.

"There will, of course, be lessons to be learned following this exercise," the BBC said in its statement, adding that there would be an assessment of whether existing procedures are appropriate.  

Online speculation

The presenter’s name has not been disclosed. But that has not stopped fevered speculation on social media about his identity.


Several of the BBC’s best-known stars have come forward to say it wasn’t them and even threatened to take legal action against online accusers.

Radio host Nicky Campbell said it had been “a distressing weekend, I can’t deny it, for me and others falsely named.”

“Today I am having further conversations with the police in terms of malicious communication and with lawyers in terms of defamation,” he said on his BBC radio programme.

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