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09th Jul 2023

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

Charlie Herbert

Gary Lineker denies being BBC host at centre of allegations

A high-profile BBC host is said to have paid the teen £35K which they spent on crack cocaine

Gary Lineker has said he is not the BBC presenter accused of paying a teenager thousands of pounds for explicit images.

The Sun on Saturday 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.

The alleged recipient’s mum told the publication 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.”

She continued: “I blame this BBC man for destroying my child’s life. Taking my child’s innocence and handing over the money for crack cocaine that could kill my child.”

Lineker has since come out and denied being the presenter in question.

On Saturday evening, the Match of the Day host tweeted: “Hate to disappoint the haters but it’s not me.”

His post comes after fellow BBC presenters Jeremy Vine, Rylan Clark and Nicky Campbell also tweeted that they were not the presenter at the centre of the allegations

Vine, who hosts a show on BBC Radio 2, wrote: “Just to say I’m very much looking forward to hosting my radio show on Monday – whoever the ‘BBC presenter’ in the news is, I have the same message for you as Rylan did earlier: it certainly ain’t me.”

Rylan, who has presented on BBC Radio Two among a string of other work, was the first to declare he was not the host in question.

He earlier tweeted: “Not sure why my names floating about but re that story in The Sun – that ain’t me babe.

“I’m currently filming a show in Italy for the BBC, so take my name out ya mouths.”

Meanwhile, Campbell said it was “important to take a stand” against people online who had accused him of being the presenter in question.

It is understood that the BBC is looking into the allegations, and that the star is currently not scheduled to be on air in the coming days.

The Sun 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.

The corporation said the information would be “acted upon appropriately”.

A BBC spokesperson said: “We treat any allegations very seriously and we have processes in place to proactively deal with them.

“As part of that, if we receive information that requires further investigation or examination we will take steps to do this. That includes actively attempting to speak to those who have contacted us in order to seek further detail and understanding of the situation.

“If we get no reply to our attempts or receive no further contact that can limit our ability to progress things but it does not mean our enquiries stop.

“If, at any point, new information comes to light or is provided – including via newspapers – this will be acted upon appropriately, in line with internal processes.”

BBC’s culture editor Katie Razzall said many questions remain unanswered, including how the corporation has investigated the family’s complaint and if it was appropriate for the presenter, who has not been named, to stay on air after a serious allegation was made.

The BBC’s statement appears to suggest its initial investigation may have been hampered by a lack of response from the family, she said.

Read the full story in The Sun here.

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