The police investigation into singer Sir Cliff Richard has “increased significantly in size” and involves “more than one allegation”, a police chief has revealed.
South Yorkshire's Chief Constable David Crompton said he could not give a date for when the probe would end, due to its “expanding nature”.
Sir Cliff, 74, has hit back at the claims put against him, which he said were “absurd and untrue”.
Last year, police interviewed the singer under caution regarding a claim of a sex crime involving a young boy in the 1980s, but he was not arrested or charged.
In a letter to chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, Mr Crompton said the force was in regular contact with Sir Cliff’s lawyers.
But the entertainer said in a statement that he had not been given details of the allegations against him.
Sir Cliff said: "“I have no idea where these absurd and untrue allegations come from. The police have not disclosed details to me. I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail. I have cooperated fully with the police, and will, of course, continue to do so.
"Beyond stating that the allegations are completely false, it would not be appropriate for me to say anything further until the investigation has concluded, which I hope will be very soon. In the meantime, I would, again, like to thank everyone for supporting me through this unbelievably difficult period," the statement said.
Mr Crompton’s letter, which was dated 10 February, came after an independent report found that a deal between South Yorkshire Police and the BBC "certainly interfered" with the singer’s privacy and "may well have caused unnecessary distress".
The agreement saw the police raid on the singer’s home broadcast live around the world.
Cliff Richard: Life in pictures
Cliff Richard: Life in pictures
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Richard aged 18 at the Hulton Boys and Girls Exhibition at Olympia's Disc Theatre in August 1959 when he was lead singer of the Drifters
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Pictured in 1962 with members of the Shadows, his backing group. Next to him is Bruce Welch, who played rhythm guitar
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With his backing group, the Shadows, Richard became a massive pop star in the 1960s with a string of hit albums and singles including ‘I love You’ (1960), ‘the Young Ones (1961), Bachelor Boy (1962) and ‘Summer Holiday (1963)
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With his mother, Dorothy, and one of his sisters in 1964
Michael Stroud/Daily Express/Hulton Archive
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Outside the Royal Albert Hall where he represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest in October 1967
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Cliff Richard in 1968
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Cliff Richard poses in front of his disc awards in the 1970s
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On stage at the 1981 Royal Variety Performance, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London
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In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2008, Sir Cliff is reported as saying: "Of all the women I've known, there were only two that I've come close to marrying. One was Jackie Irving, a dancer whom I met in Blackpool. She was utterly beautiful and for a while we were inseparable. The other girl I came close to asking was Sue Barker, whom I met in 1982"
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Orchestrating a round of singing as rain delays play during the 1996 Wimbledon tennis championships
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Performing a duet with Flemish singer Helmut Lotti during a rehearsal of Lotti's album and TV broadcast 'Pop Classics' on 6 August 2003 in Brussels
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Performing on stage during the 'Intelligent Finance Cliff Richard Tennis Classic' at Birmingham National Indoor Arena on 18 December 2004
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Arriving with Brian May at the Royal Film Performance and World Premiere of 'The Chronicles Of Narnia' at the Royal Albert Hall on 7 December 2005 in London
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Unveiling a plaque of his handprints in Wembley Arena's Square of Fame on 9 November 2006 in London
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Sir Cliff Richard and The Shadows performs live on stage at the O2 Arena in London on 28 September 2009
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Cliff Richard attends a press conference to announce details of his new album at Gilgamesh on 7 March 2011 in London
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Queen Elizabeth II is introduced to Sir Cliff Richard backstage after the Diamond Jubilee, Buckingham Palace Concert on 4 June 2012, along with Sir Elton John, Sir Tom Jones, Paul McCartney, and Shirely Bassey
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Sir Cliff Richard at the 2012 US Open. The crooner claimed One Direction still compete with him to 'look cool'
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Performing on stage during the Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace in 2012
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Cliff Richard attends the 'Willkommen bei Carmen Nebel' show at Volkswagen Halle on 23 November 2013 in Braunschweig, Germany
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Richard, 73, is one of the most successful British recording artists
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Sir Cliff, born Harry Webb, has sold an estimated 21.5 million singles in the UK and 250 million worldwide during a career spanning over 50 years
Former chief constable Andy Trotter said South Yorkshire Police (SYP) should never have a made a deal with the broadcaster - a decision taken after BBC reporter Dan Johnson went to the force saying he knew they were investigating the veteran entertainer.
Mr Crompton said a Metropolitan Police investigation into the leak to the BBC had been unable to find the source.
In his letter, Mr Crompton said: "South Yorkshire Police detectives are in very regular contact with Sir Cliff Richard's lawyers. Typically this involves a verbal update about once a fortnight.
"We have not written directly to Sir Cliff Richard. It is the responsibility of his lawyers to ensure he is fully briefed on the conversations which have taken place with investigators.
“This is an investigation which has increased significantly in size since its inception. Sir Cliff Richard's lawyers are aware that there is more than one allegation."
He added: "In view of the expanding nature of the investigation, it would be premature and potentially misleading to predict a likely date when it will be concluded; however, we are progressing as swiftly as possible."
Two paragraphs of the letter from Mr Crompton were blacked out before being released.
Mr Trotter's report cleared SYP of publicity-seeking over the raid on Sir Cliff's Berkshire apartment.
Mr Trotter concluded: “I am content that those involved at SYP were motivated by trying to ensure the integrity of the investigation and by no other consideration.
”I came across nothing to suggest that the force was seeking publicity or involved in any improper relationships with the media.
"However, through a failure to foresee the consequences of their decisions, they put the force in a position which was difficult to defend and which could, and should, have been avoided."
Additional reporting by PAReuse content