The BBC has confirmed that it is in contact with the police regarding allegations that one of its presenters paid a teenager £35,000 for sexually explicit photos. The corporation has not disclosed the name of the presenter but has suspended them pending further investigation. The claims were first reported by the Sun on Friday. While the BBC is cooperating with the authorities, no formal allegation has been made yet.
According to the Sun, the presenter allegedly began paying the young person when they were 17. The authorities have not released the details of the incidents, and neither the Sun nor the BBC have disclosed the identity of the presenter involved. The Sun also reported that the presenter made two panicked calls to the young person after the publication of their report, asking them to stop the investigation.
The BBC’s Response:
In a statement released on Sunday, the BBC stated that it is working diligently to establish the facts and is keen to inform appropriate next steps. In addition to their investigations, the BBC has been in touch with external authorities as per their protocols. The corporation expects to provide a further update in the coming days.
The Sun’s Report:
The Sun published a follow-up story on Sunday evening, claiming that the family of the young person is unhappy with the BBC’s initial response. The newspaper alleges that no one from the BBC contacted them for a proper interview after the initial complaint.
BBC’s Handling of Allegations:
BBC’s culture editor Katie Razzall said the allegations are yet to be proven and the BBC’s statement suggests their initial investigation was hampered by the family’s silence. However, the BBC has emphasized that its processes are in place to address allegations promptly and initiate appropriate steps.
BBC Director General’s Statement:
In an email to staff, Tim Davie, the BBC’s Director General, said that the corporation takes allegations of this nature very seriously. He acknowledged the complexity of the situation and assured that the corporation is working diligently to gather the facts and handle the matter fairly and responsibly. Davie also condemned the spread of unsubstantiated rumors about presenters working at the BBC on social media platforms.
The BBC is currently under scrutiny following allegations that a presenter paid a teenager for explicit photos. The corporation is cooperating with the police and conducting its investigations to establish the veracity of the claims. While the truth remains unknown, the BBC has reiterated its commitment to handling the matter fairly and with care.