Rolf Harris trial: Entertainer sings 'Jake the Peg' to jurors in indecent assault case

The performer said he was a 'touchy feely sort of person' but denies all charges

Rolf Harris has performed part of his song “Jake the Peg” while giving evidence at his trial for alleged indecent assaults.

Sitting in the witness box at Southwark Crown Court, he sung to jurors and demonstrated how to play the didgeridoo.

Harris, 84, denies 12 counts of indecent assault on girls and women between 1968 and 1986.

When being questioned about allegations that he assaulted his daughter's 13-year-old friend while they were on holiday, he said he was a "touchy feely sort of person" but denied abuse.

Asked about her claim that he touched her when she got out the shower, Harris said it "didn't happen" and denied he had assaulted her at other times during the holiday in 1978.

In his first day of evidence on Tuesday, he was also questioned about his career in music and television.

Harris described the start of his career and the invention of the “wobble board”.

He said  he moved from Australia to London at the age of 21 to pursue a career as an artist because he did not want to be a “weekend painter” and earned money by performing in the evenings while studying.

Harris said he was inspired to try to carve a career in television after seeing an entertainer telling stories and doing drawings on TV and thinking he could do better.

He wrote to the BBC to ask for an audition but it was a disaster, the court heard.

He said: “It was a disaster because my selling ability was my ability to do drawings quickly and tell the story while doing the drawings, except that in a panicked situation I did all my drawings the night before in my little room in Earl's Court.”

But the BBC did offer Harris a slot on a show, marking the start of his TV career, the court heard.

Wearing a pin-striped suit and turquoise and purple tie, Harris initially stood while giving evidence, later choosing to sit down in the witness box.

Harris, of Bray, Berkshire, denies all charges. The trial continues.

Additional reporting by PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before