BBC host scandal: Star alleged to have stripped to underwear in video call - who has denied involvement so far
and live on Freeview channel 276
An unidentified BBC presenter, who was previously implicated in a sex-photos scandal involving a teenager, is facing yet another allegation that he stripped down to his underwear for a video call.
According to the mum of the teenager, as published by a national newspaper on Saturday night (July 9), the host, who is said to be a ‘household name with a six-figure salary’, was seen “leaning forward, getting ready for my child to perform for him”.
The youth, who was reportedly 17 at the time, allegedly received a series of payments amounting to £35,000 from the host over a three-year period in return for sexually explicit photos.
The young person’s mother told the paper her child, now aged 20, had used the money sent to them to fund a crack cocaine habit. In the latest allegation, the mum said she was “stunned” to see a phone image of the presenter in his boxer shorts.
She said: “I loved watching him on TV. So I was shocked to see a picture of him sitting on a sofa in his house in his underwear. I immediately recognised him. He was leaning forward getting ready for my child to perform for him. My child told me, ‘I have shown things’ and this was a picture from some kind of video call.”
It has been reported that the family first complained to the BBC on May 19. However, they became ‘frustrated’ that the star remained on air and approached the newspaper, but said they wanted no payment for the story.
Call for transparent investigation
The accusations thrown against the celebrity host have since rocked the BBC, with politicians coming together to condemn the behaviour and call for a transparent investigation.
Caroline Dinenage, senior Conservative MP and chair of the Culture, Media and Sport committee, said: "It’s vital that TV companies have in place the right systems and processes to ensure their stars, who have disproportionate power and influence over the lives and careers of others, don’t abuse it."
There is pressure on the corporation’s HR department to "investigate these latest claims quickly and explain what has happened since this story first came to light back in May", she added.
Earlier, former home secretary Priti Patel said the BBC’s response had been "derisory" and called for a "full and transparent investigation", accusing the corporation of becoming a "faceless and unaccountable organisation".
According to the BBC, the presenter is not due to be on air in the near future, but BBC News has not been told whether or not there has been a formal suspension.
A BBC spokesperson said on Friday: "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."
The BBC has not said anything further about the allegations since this statement was made. The Sun says there will be a probe by the head of the corporate investigations team who has spoken to the family, but the BBC has not confirmed this.
Which BBC hosts have denied their involvement so far?
After the first report was published, BBC presenters took to social media to deny they were the star at the centre of the controversy. Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two star Rylan Clark denied any involvement, saying he was currently in Italy to shoot for a BBC show.
BBC Radio 2 star, Jeremy Vine then quickly followed suit, as he vehemently denied being the host in question. He said he would consult a lawyer in response to a tweet implicating him and that he was looking forward to hosting his radio show on Monday (July 10).
Popular BBC presenter, Gary Lineker also went online to deny it was him, tweeting: “ Hate to disappoint the haters but it’s not me.” Nicky Campbell, presenter of BBC Radio 5 Live, reported to the police last night after a tweet accused him of involvement in the scandal.
He said: “I think it’s important to take a stand. There’s just too many of these people on social media. Thanks for your support, friends.”