UK Government Demands BBC “Urgently” Investigate Claims Top Star Paid Teen For Sex Pics

TV

The mystery BBC presenter at the heart of a sex pictures scandal has been the subject of fresh allegations on Sunday amid a growing crisis for Britain’s national broadcaster.

Tabloid newspaper The Sun alleged that the unnamed star appeared in a video call with a teenager in his underwear. It follows earlier revelations that the star allegedly paid the young person tens of thousands of pounds for explicit images, with the exchanges dating back to 2020 when the individual was aged 17.

The Sun is basing its reporting on allegations made by the teenager’s mother. She has reportedly signed a sworn affidavit supporting her claims and has not requested payment for telling her story. No one involved in the story has been named.

Deadline spoke to several BBC and industry sources on Saturday about the identity of the presenter and the name of one individual came up repeatedly. At least four other presenters, including Gary Lineker, have had to deny that they are the mystery star amid wild and defamatory speculation on social media.

The mother told The Sun that she saw an image on her child’s phone of the BBC presenter in his underwear “leaning forward, getting ready for my child to perform for him.” The Sun did not say it had seen the image, nor has it claimed to have had direct sight of any other evidence.

“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 recognized him,” the mother told The Sun. She said her child was using the money from the star to fund a drug habit.

The woman also claimed that she once overheard a phone conversation between the presenter and her child. “Earlier this year I heard him on the phone saying to my child, ‘I told you not to f***ing ring me’. It was shocking,” she said.

The BBC is not commenting beyond a statement issued on Friday in which it said it is taking the allegations “very seriously.” The broadcaster is under growing pressure to provide answers about its handling of the matter.

The mother of the teenager lodged a complaint with the BBC about the presenter on May 19. He continued to host high-profile BBC output until recent days. The star is now off air as the scandal grows in scale, but Deadline understands that he has not been formally suspended.

Caroline Dinenage, Chair of UK Parliament’s influential Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said the BBC has “some very serious questions to answer.” Writing in The Sun, she added: “It’s vital TV companies have processes to ensure these ‘gods of broadcasting’ don’t abuse their disproportionate influence over the careers of others.”

Rachel Reeves, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, told the BBC that the corporation needs to get its “house in order” and “give greater clarity to what on earth has gone on in this case and what they’re doing to try and put it right.”

There are also questions about whether the BBC has contacted the police, given the teenager was allegedly 17 when they were first in contact with the presenter.

Under the UK’s Protection of Children Act, it is an offense “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.”

The BBC 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 Director General Tim Davie will face the press on Tuesday when the broadcaster publishes its annual report.

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