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BBC presenter scandal: Culture secretary to hold talks with corporation over explicit photo claims | Ents & Arts News

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer is to hold talks with the BBC director-general Tim Davie on Sunday over “deeply concerning” allegations about one of its presenters.

The unnamed star is alleged to have paid a teenager more than £35,000 for sexually explicit images.

The presenter allegedly first requested images from the youth in 2020 when they were aged 17 and has made a series of payments over the years, according to The Sun.

In a statement ahead of the meeting, a Department of Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson said: “These allegations are deeply concerning.

Lucy Frazer, Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport, arrives at 10 Downing Street, London, for a Cabinet meeting. Picture date: Tuesday July 4, 2023.
Culture secretary Lucy Frazer

“As a public service broadcaster in receipt of public funding, senior officials have stressed to the BBC that the allegations must be investigated urgently and sensitively, with the department kept informed.

“The culture secretary will be speaking to Tim Davie later today.”

BBC Director-General Tim Davie is pictured at BBC World Service offices in London, Britain, April 28, 2022
BBC Director-General Tim Davie

In new allegations published in The Sun on Sunday, the young person’s mother said she was “shocked” when her child showed her a screenshot of the video chat, in which the well-known presenter was sitting in his boxer shorts on a sofa at his home.

She said the man appeared to be “leaning forward, getting ready for my child to perform for him.”

“My child told me, ‘I have shown things’ and this was a picture from some kind of video call,” she added.

The newspaper did not say when the alleged incident happened.

The mother also said that earlier this year she was shocked when she overheard the presenter “on the phone saying to my child: ‘I told you not to f***ing ring me’.”

No one involved has been named, but The Sun said the presenter has not been suspended. It is understood he is still being paid his six-figure salary in full.

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What we know about claims against BBC star

The newspaper said the family made a complaint on 19 May but came forward to The Sun after becoming frustrated that the man was still on air a month later.

The mother said her child told her they had also received a payment of £1,000 via PayPal in June which suggested that the “BBC hadn’t spoken to this man” in the weeks after the initial complaint.

The presenter is now off-air and the BBC has reportedly launched an investigation, although the corporation has not confirmed this.

Read more:
Everything we know about claims a BBC presenter paid teen for explicit photos

BBC stars deny being the presenter accused of paying teenager for sexually explicit photos
BBC presenter scandal is sleazy and depressing – but at the heart of this a family is suffering

Several political figures have been critical of the BBC’s handling of the allegations, with Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves telling Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme that the allegations were “deeply concerning”.

“The idea that some presenters think they act with impunity and they can get away with these sorts of things – it does call into question the ethics, the investigations, how long these things take,” she said.

“And the BBC, but also other broadcasters, do need to get a grip because we seem to lurch from one scandal to another, and more needs to be done.”

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