TV presenter 'partied with bosses after teen photo allegations' - as stars rush to deny connection

8 July 2023, 23:04 | Updated: 9 July 2023, 07:03

The Corporation (London HQ pictured) has been rocked by the latest scandal
The Corporation (London HQ pictured) has been rocked by the latest scandal. Picture: Alamy

By Adam Solomons

The off-air TV presenter accused of paying a teenager £35,000 for sexual pictures is thought to have partied with station bosses after allegations came to light.

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Top BBC talent Gary Lineker, Jeremy Vine, Rylan Clark and Nicky Campbell all denied being the unidentified male presenter.

The mother of the alleged victim said the money paid to her child had funded a crack addiction.

Pictures were exchanged from when they were just 17, she told The Sun.

Corporation executives are thought to have partied with the presenter weeks after allegations were first made in May this year, The Mirror reported.

One party guest told the newspaper: “If this man was aware of what was hanging over him, he certainly didn’t show it.”

Read more: Gary Lineker, Rylan and Jeremy Vine say they aren't presenter 'taken off air after paying £35k for teen's pictures'

Read more: 'Plain horrible': Just Stop Oil slammed for confetti protest on George Osborne's wedding day

Rylan Clark has denied any connection to the allegations
Rylan Clark has denied any connection to the allegations. Picture: Alamy

It comes as the presenter could also face legal woes.

According to the Protection of Children Act 1978, it's illegal to "make, distribute, possess or show any indecent images of anyone aged under 18, even if the content was created with the consent of that young person”.

It's also illegal to "ask a child to send a sexual image of themselves".

Former chief prosecutor Nazir Afzal told The Times they could also be charged with sexual exploitation under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

He said he was “surprised that this person was not suspended once they became aware of the gravity of the allegation”.

Jeremy Vine also tweeted to distance himself from any accusations
Jeremy Vine also tweeted to distance himself from any accusations. Picture: Alamy

Some of the BBC's best-known faces rushed to distance themselves from any connection to the case.

Gary Lineker tweeted this afternoon: "Hate to disappoint the haters but it’s not me."

Rylan Clark had tweeted earlier on Saturday: "Not sure why my names floating about but re that story in The Sun - that ain't me babe."

And Jeremy Vine posted: "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."

Nick Campbell also threatened to sue for libel those accusing him of being the perpetrator on social media.

Gary Lineker also denied any involvement
Gary Lineker also denied any involvement. Picture: Alamy

The teenager is said to have used the money to pay for crack cocaine that has destroyed their life, according to their mother.

"When I see him on telly, I feel sick," the mother said of the TV star.

"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.”

She said how her child, now aged 20, had transformed from "a happy-go-lucky youngster to a ghost-like crack addict" in the three years since the payment began.

The presenter is said to have paid thousands of pounds at a time into the bank account of the teenager, including one lump sum of £5,000.

Nicky Campbell threatened to sue for libel anyone who stated he was the man involved
Nicky Campbell threatened to sue for libel anyone who stated he was the man involved. Picture: Alamy

In response to initial reports, 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."

Parliamentary aide Ellie Varley speaks with Matt Frei about inappropriate behaviour in Westminster

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