Another BBC DJ arrested in Savile investigation
Dave Lee Travis ... fourth arrest in Savile investigation. Photo: Getty Images
LONDON: The former BBC Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis has been arrested by detectives investigating allegations of historical sexual offences.
Travis was held at his home in Bedfordshire on Thursday morning by detectives from Operation Yewtree, the investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile and others.
He is the fourth person to be arrested after the former popstar Gary Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, the comedian Freddie Starr, and the former BBC producer Wilfred De'Ath.
Reporters wait outside Travis's house in Leighton Buzzard after his arrest. Photo: Getty Images
A next-door neighbour of Travis in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, said he had visited the DJ's wife and was told Travis had been taken to Aylesbury police station after his arrest.
Travis was a regular fixture on BBC Radio 1 from its launch in 1967 until 1993, when he resigned from his weekend morning show on air, saying he did not agree with changes being made to the station. Over the years he presented various Radio 1 shows and was a regular Top of the Pops host in the 1970s and 1980s.
Travis, nicknamed the Hairy Cornflake, worked with Savile at the BBC and was one of the most recognisable faces in British broadcasting.
Aung San Suu Kyi ... met Travis to thank him for World Service program. Photo: AFP
Last year Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said his World Service music request show had helped her to get through more than two decades under house arrest. Travis met Ms Suu Kyi when she visited BBC studios during a visit to Britain in June.
There is no suggestion that any accusations of paedophilia have been made against him, although two women have alleged in recent weeks that he groped them in the 1970s. He strongly denied the allegations when they were made.
The Metropolitan police said in a statement: "Officers working on Operation Yewtree have this morning, Thursday 15 November, arrested a man in his 60s [Yewtree 4] in connection with the investigation.
"The man, from Bedfordshire, was arrested at 07.45am on suspicion of sexual offences and has been taken into police custody. The individual falls under the strand of the investigation we have termed 'others'. We are not prepared to discuss further."
The police separately confirmed that 450 victims had recorded 200 allegations of sexual abuse since Operation Yewtree launched formally on October 19.
The Met said it was in the process of contacting all the victims. A team of 30 detectives and staff were working on the operation.
On Thursday the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said it had received 236 calls relating to Savile – an average of five a day – since the first sexual abuse allegations were made at the beginning of October. It said it had received 550 phone calls and emails from people reporting other incidents of sexual abuse in the past month, an increase of nearly 200 per cent on the average month.
Meanwhile, the BBC has announced it would pay the former politician Alistair McAlpine £185,000 ($285,000) in damages for falsely implicating him in child sex abuse allegations.
A statement issued by the BBC late on Thursday said: ‘‘The BBC has agreed terms with Lord McAlpine to settle his claim of libel against the Corporation. The settlement is comprehensive and reflects the gravity of the allegations that were wrongly made.’’
Lord McAlpine, Conservative party treasurer under Margaret Thatcher, responded: ‘‘I am delighted to have reached a quick and early settlement with the BBC. I have been conscious that any settlement will be paid by the licence fee-payers, and have taken that into account in reaching agreement with the BBC.
‘‘We will now be continuing to seek settlements from other organisations that have published defamatory remarks and individuals who have used Twitter to defame me.’’
The broadcaster has already apologised for linking Lord McAlpine with abuse at a children’s home in Wales in the 1970s.
Guardian News & Media; Agence France-Presse