Langham pulls out of BBC work as he faces more charges

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The award-winning comedy actor Chris Langham has been charged with eight counts of indecent assault and one other sexual offence.

The new charges were made by Kent Police yesterday under the Sexual Offences Act in addition to the pornography allegations he was already facing.

Mr Langham 57, from Cranbrook, Kent, was arrested last year and charged four months ago with 15 counts of making indecent images of children.

He announced yesterday, in a statement issued through the BBC, that he was withdrawing from his work commitments but was determined to clear his name. "I have today been charged with further offences by Kent Police. I have nothing further to add to what I have said previously, namely that I am determined to clear my name but cannot comment further on the allegations due to legal proceedings."

The BBC had revealed only on Tuesday that Mr Langham, one of the stars of Armando Iannucci's satirical comedy The Thick of It, would not be taking part in a special Christmas edition.

Janice Hadlow, the controller of BBC4, insisted the Christmas programme was "going to be a slightly different story" for which he was not required as it was based on the Opposition. She said the BBC was very keen for the series to continue but the law had to take its course.

The latest developments have affected other work plans. Mr Langham had been in the early stages of developing a new series of Help, the BBC2 comedy he co-wrote and co-starred with Paul Whitehouse. Mr Langham plays a psychiatrist in the Bafta-winning show.

But in the statement, he added: "I have decided to withdraw from all projects with the BBC until these matters are resolved."

Mr Langham first came to fame playing the presenter Roy Mallard in the Radio 4 show People Like Us, which transferred to television. But long before that, he had a small part in Monty Python's Life of Brian as a centurion and had an early break as the sole British writer on The Muppet Show. He was also part of the original team for Not the Nine O'Clock News, though he was replaced by Griff Rhys Jones for the second series.

His moment of triumph at the British Comedy Awards, where he was named best television comedy actor, coincided with the revelation that he was being questioned by police about child pornography.