The veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall has vowed to 'regain his reputation' as he faces sex offence allegations.
Speaking outside Preston Magistrates Court Mr Hall said he had been through a 'living nightmare' and questioned why the allegations against him had taken so long to surface.
Hall will today appear before the court after being charged with offences by Lancashire Police last month.
The 83-year-old presenter, famous as the host of 'It's A Knockout', is accused of one count of rape allegedly committed in 1976 against a 22-year-old woman and 14 offences of indecent assault against 10 girls aged between nine and 16 which allegedly took place between 1967 and 1986.
Hall has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century and was last year awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours.
His eccentric and erudite football match summaries have made him a cult figure on BBC Radio 5 Live.
Speaking outside court Mr Hall thanked his "very loving family" for their support and said that without it he might have considered taking his own life.
Hall told reporters: "May I just say these allegations are pernicious, callous, cruel and above all spurious.
"And may I just say I am not guilty and will be defending these accusations.
"Like a lot of other people in this country today I am wondering why it has taken 30 or 40 years for these allegations to surface.
"The last two months of my life have been a living nightmare. I have never gone through so much stress in my life and I am finding it difficult to sustain.
"Fortunately I have a very loving family and they are very supportive and I think but for their love I might have been constrained to take my own life.
"They have encouraged me to fight on, to fight the charges and regain my reputation and good name and whatever I have represented to this country down the years.
"With that I would like to thank everybody who has supported me for their good will which has sustained me through this absolutely horrific ordeal.
"As I say I shall be defending myself. I am 83 years old. I was a healthy 83 year old, but I am now incubating a heart complaint and I'll be very lucky to survive another couple of years.
"But I hope to survive those two years and regain my honour and reputation and more than ever, my life."
- More about:
- Great Britain
- Judges (court Of Law)
- North West England