Michael Parkinson on Cliff Richard media treatment: 'There is some kind of witch hunt going on'
The veteran broadcaster dismisses the BBC’s coverage of the raid of the singer’s home
The singer – who was in Portugal at the time of last week’s search – has denied an alleged sex crime against a boy at an evangelist event at a Sheffield stadium in 1985.
Police officers have been warned they could face disciplinary action over their dealings with the BBC.
“I think anybody not charged should not be named by the police, and shouldn't be reported in the newspapers either in my view,” said Parkinson on ITV News.
“I think the Cliff Richard case only highlights the feeling there is some kind of witch hunt going on.”
The veteran journalist criticised the BBC’s decision to cover the search without any charges or arrests having been made.
“I think the BBC did create an error in judgment, not in understanding the story and having the story and trying to follow it through, but in reacting to the story in a kind of way that would have done the red tops credit,” continued Parkinson.
"That's what wrong with the BBC, I think, on this one. It was the manner in which they chose to actually cover the event – if you can call it an event.
“I think there is a lot to be looked at and a lot to be learned from all that's been happening around that particular kind of area.”
Parkinson noted that in the case of Rolf Harris (who was imprisoned for his sexual abuse crimes) the media arrived at his Bray home before the police.
“It's not right. Particularly at that point, he was not charged with anything,” he said.
"I just feel that they should tread more softly and we should be more considerate of everybody's feelings and claims and rights in this.
“We should pursue people, of course, who have done wrong. That is indisputably the police's job.”
Richard’s family also defended the singer this weekend.
“I know my uncle is innocent,” said his niece, Linzi Jolin, while his cousin, Garth Gregory, described the raid as a “witch hunt”.
His fans have also pledged their allegiance, with a Facebook campaign having been launched to get his 1992 track, “I Still Believe In You”, to number one in the charts.
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Migrants crossing the Mediterranean: Pope Francis joins calls for EU action on boat refugees
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Isis in Afghanistan: Group claims responsibility for Jalalabad suicide bombing that killed 35
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...
£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...