Stuart Hall pleads guilty to one count of indecent assault

The ex-BBC presenter has denied 20 further charges

Veteran broadcaster Stuart Hall has pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to one charge of indecent assault on a girl ahead of his trial today.

The 84-year-old stood in the dock at Preston Crown Court and replied "guilty" when asked how he pleaded to the offence, which took place between 26 January 1978 and 1 January 1979.

The charge was an additional count added by the prosecution shortly before the trial was scheduled to begin.

He will go on trial later today accused of 20 other counts of sexual assault.

Prosecutor Peter Wright asked for the judge's permission to amend the indictment and add the additional charge, count 21, to which Hall pleaded guilty.

Further preliminary legal matters are being dealt with before a jury is expected to be selected and the trial on the outstanding matters gets under way later today.

He is charged with seven counts of rape against one complainant between 1976 and 1978 in Manchester. Five of the rapes are said to have taken place when she was under the age of 16.

Hall is also accused of two counts of indecent assault against the woman within the same period.

In addition, he is charged with eight counts of rape and three indecent assaults against a second alleged victim between 1976 and 1981, at various locations in Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

One of those alleged rapes is said to have taken place when the complainant was under 13.

The former It's A Knockout presenter has pleaded not guilty to all 20 allegations. He has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century, and his eccentric and erudite football match summaries made him a cult figure on BBC Radio 5 Live.

The trial is expected to last seven days.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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