The former pop star Gary Glitter became the first person to be arrested by detectives investigating allegations of multiple sex attacks by the BBC presenter Jimmy Savile.
Glitter, 68, was detained at his home at 7am this morning on suspicion of committing sexual offences. He was interviewed at Charing Cross police station in London for nine hours before being released tonight on bail until mid-December, pending further inquiries.
Since an ITV documentary exposed Savile earlier this month, 300 people have complained to the Metropolitan Police that they were sexually abused by the late disc jockey or his associates. Police are working through 400 lines of inquiry.
Around 60 of the complaints are thought to relate to people other than Savile – who was hailed as a broadcasting legend when he died aged 84 last October. One of his victims, Karin Ward, told a Panorama investigation that a well-known entertainer, who has not been named, tried to grope her in Savile's dressing room.
Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, was a star in the 1970s and 1980s when he often appeared on Savile's make-a-wish-come-true show for children, Jim'll Fix It.
He was jailed for three years in Vietnam in 2006 for abusing two girls, aged 10 and 11.
He was filmed early this morning, wearing a hat, dark coat and gloves, being driven away from his home by detectives.
Confirming that a "man in his 60s" had been arrested by its investigation into Savile, Operation Yewtree, the Metropolitan Police said: "The man, from London, was arrested at approximately 0715 on suspicion of sexual offences. The individual falls under the strand of the investigation we have termed 'Savile and others'."
As Scotland Yard sought to track down Savile's accomplices, the publicist Max Clifford said he had been contacted by up to 15 celebrities fearful that they might be dragged into the police inquiry.
Following speculation that other celebrities from the 1970s and 80s could be contacted, Mr Clifford claimed stars were worried that when "young girls [were] throwing themselves at them… they never asked for anybody's birth certificate". He added: "We are talking about a lot of people that were huge names in the 60s and 70s and a lot of them barely remember what they did last week."
As anger about Savile continues, vandals daubed what were described as "abusive slogans" on his cottage in the Scottish Highlands at Allt na Reigh, Glencoe, on Saturday night.
Glitter's arrest came as the BBC's chairman, Lord Patten, demanded the Corporation must uncover exactly what it knew and when about Savile's activities, no matter how "terrible".
Lord Patten, writing in The Mail on Sunday, said: "Can it really be the case that no one knew what he [Savile] was doing? Did some turn a blind eye to criminality? Did some prefer not to follow up their suspicions because of this criminal's popularity and place in the schedules?"
Amid the ongoing row over whether the BBC tried to hush up the affair by canning a Newsnight investigation last December, a Sunday newspaper reported that the Director-General's office was alerted twice to claims that Savile abused children, in May and September this year.
A spokesman for the then DG, Mark Thompson – who has always said he was not "notified or briefed" about the abuse – said he had not been informed personally on either occasion. Mr Thompson is due to take up his role as CEO of the New York Times Company in November.
Scotland Yard last week described Savile, who was knighted in 1990 for "charitable services", as "undoubtedly" one of the most prolific sex offenders of recent history. He is thought to have abused boys and girls for decades at TV studios, NHS hospitals and an approved school.
More than 100 victims have been interviewed by the police.
In a statement released by his nephew, Roger Foster, Savile's family spoke of their shock at his paedophilia.
Career: from fame to shame
Gary Glitter rose to international fame in the 1970s, selling more than 18 million records.
But his remarkable rise – accompanied by extravagant make-up, silver jumpsuits and towering boots – was followed by an equally swift fall when child sex-abuse charges against him destroyed his public image in the 1990s.
Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was born in Banbury, Oxfordshire, in 1944 and was raised by his grandmother and mother without ever knowing his father.
In 1991 he appeared on Jim'll Fix It with Jimmy Savile. After 2000, Glitter was reported to be living in Spain and later in Cuba. He then moved to South-east Asia, where he was jailed in Vietnam in March 2006 for "obscene acts" with two girls aged 11 and 12. He said he was innocent of the charges.
Upon his release from prison in 2008 he returned to Britain and was put on the sex-offenders' register. In 2009 he was blocked from travelling to the south of France for a holiday. The Metropolitan Police were granted a six-month foreign-travel ban; City of Westminster magistrates ruled he posed a risk to children abroad.Reuse content