Dave Lee Travis trial: DJ 'knew Jimmy Savile liked young girls' and thought 'good luck to him'

He also described groping behaviour as the 'norm' in the 1970s

Jennifer Cockerell
Friday 24 January 2014 13:56
Radio presenter Dave Lee Travis arrives at Southwark Crown Court on 16 January.
Radio presenter Dave Lee Travis arrives at Southwark Crown Court on 16 January.

Veteran DJ Dave Lee Travis told police after his arrest on suspicion of sexual offences that he would have reported fellow BBC broadcaster Jimmy Savile if he had known he was a paedophile.

Travis said he knew that Savile liked young girls and thought “good luck to him”.

But he told police that he did not think the girls were under-age, jurors at London's Southwark Crown Court heard.

Reading extracts from interviews with police after Travis's arrest in November 2012, junior prosecutor Teresa Hay said that, although the defendant denied the offences, he described such groping behaviour as the “norm” during the 1970s.

Ms Hay told jurors: “He said if he had touched someone's breasts he would admit it as it was considered to be a bit flirtatious at the time and no-one thought that much about it.

”He said the allegations did not happen. If any of it had been true he would apologise and accept that this was the norm in that period."

Asked about his relationship with disgraced presenter Savile, Travis told the Operation Yewtree officers that he only knew him as a colleague.

Ms Hay said Travis told police regarding Savile: “Like most people at the BBC I did not know him.” He added that Savile had a “verbal wall” that he could not get through.

Former BBC DJ Dave Lee Travis pictured in 1981

68-year-old Travis from Buckinghamshire, denies 13 indecent assaults and one sexual assault, dating back to 1976 at the height of his fame.

The alleged offending includes when he was working as a BBC DJ, as a broadcaster with Classic Gold radio, while appearing on Top Of The Pops, and when starring in panto.

Jurors heard Travis described the allegations as ”degrading“ towards him and that he was ”fair game“ because of his celebrity status.

The court heard he told officers he thought it ”incredible that people were coming out of the woodwork“ after 40 years, and said he expected it was because they wanted to sell their stories due to a ”money grabbing culture“.

Referring to evidence heard yesterday from a woman who said Travis attacked her in a BBC studio while presenting his Radio 1 show in the mid 1970s, jurors were told: ”He said he would have had to be a moron to do anything in the studio when people could see in from outside.“

Asked by officers about the similarities between some of the women's accounts, the defendant said: ”Two people who are not connected are both telling porkies.“

The court heard he described allegations that he groped a teenage girl in the audience of Top Of The Pops in 1978 as ”ridiculous and stupid“.

”There were cameras on him from all angles and the show goes out to 20 million people,“ Ms Hay said.

Travis described himself as a ”tactile“ person who would usually kiss and or hug men and women when meeting them, but said he would never grope them.

Travis, who is on trial charged under his real name, David Patrick Griffin, listened to the evidence from the dock with the aid of headphones.

Jurors were told that, after initially being arrested and questioned on 15 November 2012, he was interviewed by police on three further occasions in March, August and September last year.

Travis denies all the charges against him. The trial was adjourned until Monday.