BBC broadcaster arrested in sexual abuse inquiry


Sun, Nov 03, 2013 - Page 6

Veteran BBC broadcaster Paul Gambaccini on Friday said he had been arrested as part of an inquiry set up to examine sexual abuse claims against late presenter Jimmy Savile.

US-born Gambaccini, 64, denied the allegations. He was released on bail following his arrest on Tuesday, which the BBC had previously refused to confirm.

The BBC said he would not be presenting his weekly radio show yesterday.

Gambaccini said in a statement that he was arrested shortly after watching a musical about a group of black men falsely accused of sexual offenses in Alabama during the 1930s.

“Within hours, I was arrested by Operation Yewtree. Nothing had changed, except this time there was no music,” Gambaccini said.

He is the latest in a series of older celebrities in Britain arrested under Operation Yewtree, the police probe into historical abuse set up in the wake of hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse against DJ Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84.

A spokesman for Gambaccini said: “Mr Gambaccini was interviewed by Operation Yewtree officers about historic allegations. He answered their questions and was cooperative. He denied all allegations.”

The London Metropolitan Police refused to name Gambaccini, but a spokesman said a 64-year-old man had been arrested in south London “on suspicion of sexual offenses” and taken into custody.

He was bailed until January, the spokesman said.

The arrest was under part of the Operation Yewtree covering offenses that are not linked to Savile, the spokesman said.

The BBC confirmed that Gambaccini would not be presenting his show on the national Radio 2 station in “coming weeks.”

“Paul Gambaccini has decided that, in light of today’s media attention, he would rather not be on air at present and we respect that decision,” a spokesman said.

Gambaccini was a vocal figure after the Savile scandal erupted last year, saying it was known among BBC staff that the late presenter targeted vulnerable young people and speaking of rumors that Savile had been a necrophiliac.