BBC presenter Paul Gambaccini bailed after arrest as part of Operation Yewtree
The 64-year-old is understood to have been arrested under a strand of Yewtree that is not connected to the Savile investigation
Veteran BBC presenter Paul Gambaccini protested his innocence after being arrested arrested as part of Operation Yewtree, the investigation into historical sexual offences prompted by the Jimmy Savile scandal.
The 64-year-old presenter was one of two men arrested on Tuesday morning, the fifteenth and sixteenth arrests made during Operation Yewtree. Both men were later released on bail.
The arrest of the broadcaster is a surprise because he is gay and has publicly welcomed the unmasking of Savile as a paedophilic predator of girls, and a man “who conned an entire society”.
He was arrested under a strand of Yewtree that is not connected to the Savile investigation and has denied all the allegations made against him.
In a statement he said: “On Monday night, 28 October, I attended an excellent production of the Kander and Ebb musical, the Scottsboro Boys, at the Young Vic theatre.
”It concerned a group of black men in Alabama in the 1930s who were falsely accused of sexual offences. Within hours, I was arrested by Operation Yewtree. Nothing had changed, except this time there was no music.“
A spokesman for the broadcaster added: ”Mr Gambaccini was interviewed by Operation Yewtree officers about historic allegations. He answered their questions and was co-operative. He denied all allegations.“
Scotland Yard confirmed that two men, one 64 and the other 74, had been arrested and bailed but would give no details about their identities. A spokesman said of the 64-year-old: ”The man was arrested at an address in south London on suspicion of sexual offences and taken into police custody. He falls under the strand of the investigation we have termed 'others'.“
The presenter spoke out against Savile last year, saying that there were rumours the disgraced DJ was a necrophiliac and that it was well-known among BBC staff that Savile had targetted vulnerable, ”institutionalised“ young people.
Gambaccini hosts a weekly show on BBC Radio 2 and was due to present a 30-minute documentary for Radio 4 about the music world's reaction to the assassination of President John F Kennedy, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of his death.
The BBC said he would not be presenting his Saturday show on Radio 2 show. A spokesman said: ”Paul Gambaccini has decided that, in light of today's media attention, he would rather not be on air at present and we respect that decision.
“Therefore, Paul will not be presenting on BBC Radio in coming weeks and replacement programmes for the period will be announced soon.” The replacement show on Radio 2 tomorrow will be Johnnie Walker Meets Art Garfunkel.
Gambaccini was born in New York and has been dubbed the Professor of Pop for his encyclopaedic knowledge of popular music. He is also well-versed in other genres, including classical music.
His career at the BBC began in 1973 on Radio 1 and he has also presented regular shows on BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4, and Classic FM. During the summer his 40th anniversary with the Corporation was marked with a four-part series, The Gambaccini Years.
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