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
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent