Andrew Marr: BBC presenter scandal is 'crowding out' other important stories including Nato and soaring mortgage rates

11 July 2023, 18:09

Andrew Marr 11/07

Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The BBC presenter scandal is an important story about "power, abuse and public trust" but it's "crowding out" other vital issues, including Ukraine's Nato bid and soaring mortgage rates.

It comes as the unnamed BBC presenter who allegedly sent explicit pictures to a teenager faces fresh allegations from a second young person.

LBC's Andrew Marr started his show: "Well it's another important but incredibly frustrating day. The BBC story dominates headlines.

"The latest in this fast-changing tale is that a second young person, unconnected to the first, has come forward this afternoon to say they felt threatened by the same presenter in a row over payment for sexually explicit pictures.

"And when they threatened to name the presenter they were sent abusive and expletive-filled messages, which left them frightened. It's a story about power, and abuse, and public trust.

"It's obviously important and the national broadcaster is in deep trouble but still, we can't say who it's about and we are completely ignorant of crucial facts which might change completely how we see things.

"It's crowding out other stories which I'm sure many of you think are more important -  mortgages going up to 6.66% for a start, which will be horribly painful for a lot of people. 

"Then there is the Nato summit getting underway in Vilnius and the difficult question of whether we should go into full alliance with Ukraine."

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BBC Headquarters
BBC Headquarters. Picture: Alamy

Moving back onto the BBC story, Andrew continued: "The police have changed their line today In a way which may be highly significant. The crime journalist Danny Shaw is here to analyse that.

"Tim Davie, the director general of the BBC has been giving interviews, full of information about its investigation and why it made so little progress until the Sun newspaper came hammering on its door."

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Speaking to BBC Radio 4 earlier today, Mr Davie said: "We did receive a call on 19 May. That was taken by the audiences services team who then make a summary of the call.

"It did not include an allegation of criminality - but was very serious."

Asked why he has not spoken to the presenter, Mr Davie said: "I think it is critical they are spoken to a very senior manager."

He added that he feels he is playing the "right role" by overseeing the situation as director general.

"There may be lessons from this," he adds. "The case has always been kept open."