Stuart Hall vows to 'regain his reputation' as he faces sex offence allegations
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."
educationTo mark International Women's Day, Sarah Brown on how charities have brought proper joined-up thinking to the delivery of education
Lammily: Barbie-like doll hits Kickstarter fundraising target in a day
12 Years A Slave star Lupita Nyong’o on racism in beauty: 'Every day I woke up hoping my skin was a little bit lighter'
Belle Knox: How a porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
Oscar Pistorius trial: Neighbour feared South African athlete would use gun that killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to shoot himself
Top 10 most expensive cities in the world: Singapore named costliest place to live – but what about London?
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Study suggests that 'gaydars' are real - at least for women
- 4 Man stabbed with Legend of Zelda Master Sword in serious condition
- 5 First clip of Outkast's Andre 3000 in Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side emerges