Police have warned Channel 5 about the risk of having a senior police officer recently involved in investigating the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal in the Big Brother house.
An unnamed detective constable who had been working on Operation Yewtree – a special investigation into the former Top of The Pops presenter launched by the Metropolitan Police last year – up until very recently is set to enter the reality show tonight.
Scotland Yard has written to Channel 5 to warn about the broadcaster's responsibility in connection with live investigations.
Channel 5 responded to say it had put procedures in place to ensure that nothing that might conflict with the investigation would be broadcast.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We are aware of reports concerning the proposed media appearance of a former detective constable.
"We have been in contact with Channel 5 and made them fully aware of potential risks and their responsibility to live investigations.
"All officers joining the MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] and leaving the MPS are required to sign the Official Secrets Act."
The new Big Brother housemate reportedly quit his job with the force in order to become a contestant on the latest series of the reality show Big Brother which started with the first batch of entrants last night.
“Leaving the police force to go into the Big Brother house is a massive move,” a TV insider told the Daily Star.
“Their former bosses are going to be shocked about their decision to join the show and naturally will be worried about what might be said inside the house. This person has seen a lot of bad things while working on Operation Yewtree.”
The insider added: “They will know what can and can’t be said inside the house but it’s only natural for their housemates to want to try to get as much gossip as possible.”
The contestant reportedly told Channel 5 bosses that working as one of the 30 officers involved in Operation Yewtree had been “upsetting” and “draining”.
More than 400 lines of inquiry have so far been uncovered by police investigating the Savile scandal, relating both to the former television presenter, people he was connected to and unconnected “others”.
In January Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother had a brush with Operation Yewtree as Jim Davidson was arrested just days before he had been due to enter the house.
Of the 13 suspects arrested by Operation Yewtree so far two have been charged: PR consultant Max Clifford and former BBC driver David Smith.
An unnamed 65-year-old man and former BBC producers Ted Beston and Wilfred De’Ath have been released without charge.
The eight others, including Gary Glitter, Dave Lee Travis, Chris Denning, Freddie Starr, Rolf Harris and Jim Davidson, remain on police bail.
This year’s Big Brother has a “secrets and lies” theme and there will even be a prison inside the house.
The ex-Operation Yewtree officer is believed to be entering the Big Brother house on Friday night.
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