BBC refuses to comment on Stephen Nolan explicit image allegations

Nolan is the fifth-highest paid talent within the BBC

Cillian Sherlock
Wednesday 16 August 2023 07:59 BST
Georgia Harrison speaks after Stephen Bear found guilty of revenge porn

The BBC has refused to comment on allegations made about star Northern Ireland presenter Stephen Nolan.

A number of claims were made about Nolan in The Irish News on Tuesday (15 August), including that he had sent sexually explicit images of a public figure to another member of staff.

According to the paper, Nolan sent two separate messages containing nude images of Stephen Bear, demanding that the reality star be booked as a guest on his BBC One series Nolan Live following his Big Brother win in 2016. Bear was later jailed for charges relating to revenge porn in March 2023.

“I want Bear!” Nolan is said to have written in one of the messages, adding in the second: “If I don’t get Bear tomorrow night I’m sending more bear photos.”

Nolan is the fifth-highest paid talent with the BBC, earning between £400,000 and £404,999.

He appeared on his BBC Radio Ulster programme as usual on Tuesday morning, with no mention of the allegations.

The Irish News also said that a former member of staff had made a claim of bullying and harassment against Nolan which was not upheld, and that messages between team members on programmes associated with the star presenter included abusive remarks about politicians.

In a statement, BBC Northern Ireland’s director Adam Smyth said: “There are important considerations of fairness and confidentiality involved in the handling of any workplace-related complaint.

“We take these obligations seriously – and in the interests of everyone involved. It is for these reasons that we cannot comment on the specifics of any individual case, who/what it may have involved or its outcome.”

BBC News NI said Nolan refused to comment on the matter when asked through the organisation’s press office.

A DUP MP said the reporting had highlighted “significant multi-layered issues” that deserve a full response from the BBC.

Gregory Campbell said: “This ultimately is an issue of how public money is used in Northern Ireland and it deserves the same level of scrutiny and questioning, both from the BBC and other sections of the media.”

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