BBC DJ Paul Gambaccini arrested in sex abuse inquiry

November 2, 2013 | By | Reply More

Nov 02, – London: Veteran BBC broadcaster Paul Gambaccini last night admitted he is the latest celebrity to be arrested by detectives investigating the Jimmy Savile scandal. The 64-year-old radio and TV presenter – who last year described Savile as “not all good, not all bad” – broke his silence three days after he was held on suspicion of sexual offences by officers working on Scotland Yard’s Operation Yewtree.

hromedia BBC DJ Paul Gambaccini arrested in sex abuse inquiry intl. news2He issued a statement denying the “historic” allegations of sexual abuse after frenzied speculation about the identity of the high-profile suspect arrested earlier this week.

Both the BBC and Scotland Yard had repeatedly refused to confirm that Gambaccini had been detained at his home in the South Bank area of London early on Tuesday.

Gambaccini said last night: “On Monday night, 28 October, I attended an excellent production of the Kander and Ebb musical, the Scottsboro Boys, at the Young Vic theatre.

“It concerned a group of black men in Alabama in the 1930s who were falsely accused of sexual offences. Within hours, I was arrested by Operation Yewtree. Nothing had changed, except this time there was no music.”

A spokesman for the openly gay presenter said: “Mr Gambaccini was interviewed by Operation Yewtree officers about historic allegations. He answered their questions and was co-operative. He denied all allegations.”

The star’s regular show due to air at 8pm tonight on Radio 2 was last night hurriedly cancelled, and replaced by a repeat of “Johnnie Walker Meets Art Garfunkel”. A BBC spokesperson said: “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.

“Therefore, Paul will not be presenting on BBC Radio in [the] coming weeks and replacement programmes for the period will be announced soon.’

Operation Yewtree is the national investigation prompted after claims were made against disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile. Scotland Yard has led the probe, and separated its inquiries into those involving Savile, those involving Savile and others, and those involving others.

Detectives did not disclose details of the allegations facing Gambaccini. But it indicated in a statement that he is not suspected of committing offences with paedophile Savile.

Radio 2 DJ Gambaccini, dubbed the “Professor of Pop” because of his extensive knowledge of music, was questioned by detectives for several hours before being released late on Tuesday.

Following his arrest, the normally media-friendly DJ was holed up at his £1.3 million (Dh7.6 million) penthouse flat near Waterloo Bridge for three days, declining to return calls or reply to email requests for a statement from journalists. The BBC initially referred all questions about his arrest to Scotland Yard, saying it “would not be commenting on speculation”.

Gambaccini’s silence was in sharp contrast to when the Savile scandal erupted last autumn. Then, the popular pundit happily gave a series of interviews about the disgraced Jim’ll Fix It star.

Oxford-educated Gambaccini, who has been at the BBC for 40 years, was criticised when he revealed he knew about sexual abuse by Savile but failed to report it. At the time, he said: “So what, I a junior DJ am supposed to get up there and say my senior is a perv? They are going to laugh at me. It never occurred to me.”

He added: “Jimmy Savile had an imperial personality in showbusiness. You just didn’t mess with Jim – you let him have his turf.”

Gambaccini was the 15th suspect to be arrested under Operation Yewtree. Police confirmed another man, aged 74, was arrested as part of the investigation. His identity was not clear last night.

Both men have been bailed to a date in early January.

Press journalist for HRO media – contributed to this report.

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Category: International

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