Stuart Hall pleads not guilty to historic sexual offence charges

The former BBC presenter will go on trial in May over the allegations

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The Independent Online

Veteran broadcaster Stuart Hall has pleaded not guilty to raping two young girls.

84-year-old Hall is accused of committing a string of historic sexual offences against his alleged victims.

He will face trial at Preston Crown Court on 6 May over the allegations.

Hall, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, is alleged to have committed seven counts of rape against one complainant between 1976 and 1978 in Manchester.

Five of the rapes are said to have taken place when the girl was aged under 16.

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

He is also charged with eight counts of rape against a second alleged victim between 1976 and 1981, at various locations in Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

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

Hall is also accused of three counts of indecent assault against the same alleged victim.

Answering to his full name of James Stuart Hall, the defendant entered not guilty pleas to each of the 20 counts.

The former It's A Knockout presenter was 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 estimated to last seven days.