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BBC suspend presenter over explicit photo allegations


For the BBC, it never rains but it pours. Having only just emerged from the row over Richard Sharp’s appointment, the Corporation has now been plunged into fresh controversy over an unnamed star who has reportedly paid a teenager £35,000 for sexually explicit photos. On Saturday, the Sun splashed the story across its front page but chose to not name the presenter.

This afternoon though the BBC decided to suspend the star, amid much online speculation as to his identity, and are now in contact with the police. In a statement, the Corporation said that: ‘The BBC first became aware of a complaint in May. New allegations were put to us on Thursday of a different nature and in addition to our own enquiries we have also been in touch with external authorities, in line with our protocols.’ The Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer has spoken to the Director General Tim Davie, with the BBC expected to provide a further update in the coming days.

In the Sun on Sunday, the mother of the young person – who the Sun claims was 17 when the presenter began paying them – said her child had used the money to fund a crack cocaine habit. She claimed that if the alleged payments continued, her child – now aged 20 – would ‘wind up dead’ with a total of £35,000 reported to have been paid. Having reportedly made the BBC aware of their concerns on 19 May, the family said they became frustrated when the presenter remained on air and they then decided to approach the Sun.

Talk about bad times for the Beeb…

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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