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09th Jul 2023

BBC suspends presenter accused of paying thousands to teen for explicit pictures

Charlie Herbert

BBC suspends presenter

The broadcaster has said it takes ‘any allegations seriously’

The BBC has officially suspended the unnamed presenter who is alleged to have paid thousands of pounds to a teenager in exchange for explicit sexual images.

On Saturday, the Sun revealed that a high-profile presenter at the corporation has been taken off air while allegations he paid a teen £35,000 for sexual pictures are investigated.

The publication said the well-known presenter, who it did not name, is accused of paying the teen for images since they were 17.

In a statement released on Sunday afternoon, the corporation confirmed the presenter had been suspended, BBC News reports.

The broadcaster said: “The BBC takes any allegations seriously and we have robust internal processes in place to proactively deal with such allegations.

“This is a complex and fast moving set of circumstances and the BBC is working as quickly as possible to establish the facts in order to properly inform appropriate next steps.

“It is important that these matters are handled fairly and with care.

The BBC is conducting its own enquiry into the allegations, but it is thought the corporation has contacted the police about the matter as well (Getty)

“We have been clear that if – at any point – new information comes to light or is provided to us, this will be acted upon appropriately and actively followed up.

“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.

“We can also confirm a male member of staff has been suspended.

“We expect to be in a position to provide a further update in the coming days as the process continues. The BBC Board will continue to be kept up to date.”

It is understood the corporation has contacted the police in relation to the matter, along with conducting their own enquiries.

In an email to BBC staff, director general Tim Davie said: “By law, individuals are entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy, which is making this situation more complex. I also want to be very clear that I am wholly condemning the unsubstantiated rumours being made on the internet about some of our presenting talent.

“We are in contact with the family referenced in the media reports. I want to assure you that we are working rapidly to establish the facts and to ensure that these matters are handled fairly and with care, including by external authorities where appropriate.”

BBC director general Tim Davie has sent an email to staff regarding the matter (Getty)

The alleged recipient’s mum told the Sun that her child, now aged 20, had used the money to fun a crack habit, and detailed her distress over the situation, saying: “When I see him on telly, I feel sick.”

It was reported that the young person’s family complained to the BBC on 19 May and begged them to make the man “stop sending the cash”.

Frustrated that the star remained on air, the family is then said to have approached the newspaper, but did not want payment for the story.

The mum told the publisher her child was paid “huge sums, hundreds, or thousands of pounds at a time.”

“One time he had sent £5,000 in one lump. The money had been in exchange for sexually explicit photographs of my child.”

She said she was told the star requested “performances” and that her child said they would “get their bits out”.

Explicit messages are alleged to have started in 2020, when the youngster was 17.

The family say the BBC presenter never hid his identity and even sent pictures of himself at work.

The mum of the teen allegedly paid, said her child had gone from a “happy-go-lucky youngster to a ghost-like crack addict” in three years.

Read the full story in The Sun here.

Related links:

Gary Lineker denies being BBC host accused of ‘paying teen for explicit pics’

ITV bosses warned of ‘serious concerns’ about Phillip Schofield as early as 2020

Topics:

BBC