A HOUSEHOLD name has been taken off air by the BBC after paying a teenager for sexually explicit photos, sparking a “whodunnit” controversy as stars deny they are the culprit.
The BBC said it takes “any allegations very seriously” following reports in The Sun that a “well-known presenter” has been taken off air over clams he paid a teenager for explicit pictures.
The newspaper reported the unnamed BBC star has been accused of paying a teenager more than £35,000 in exchange for sexual images.
Neither the individual or the teenager, who was said to be 17 when the payments began, was identified.
The Sun said the teen’s family complained to the BBC on May 19.
In response to The Sun’s report, a BBC spokesperson said: “We treat any allegations very seriously and we have processes in place to proactively deal with them.
“As part of that, if we receive information that requires further investigation or examination we will take steps to do this.
That includes actively attempting to speak to those who have contacted us in order to seek further detail and understanding of the situation.
“If we get no reply to our attempts or receive no further contact that can limit our ability to progress things but it does not mean our enquiries stop.
“If, at any point, new information comes to light or is provided – including via newspapers – this will be acted upon appropriately, in line with internal processes.”
On Saturday, amidst speculation on social media, a number of BBC stars tweeted to say they were not the presenter at the centre of The Sun story.
Rylan tweeted: “Not sure why my names floating about but re that story in the sun – that ain’t me babe. I’m Currently filming a show in Italy for the bbc, so take my name out ya mouths.”
Jeremy Vine tweeted: “Just to say I’m very much looking forward to hosting my radio show on Monday — whoever the ‘BBC Presenter’ in the news is, I have the same message for you as Rylan did earlier: it certainly ain’t me.”
Gary Lineker tweeted: “Hate to disappoint the haters but it’s not me.”
Nicky Campbell appeared to suggest he had contacted police about being mentioned in connection with the story.
He tweeted a screenshot which featured the Metropolitan Police logo and the words: “Thank you for contacting the Metropolitan Police Service to report your crime.”
In his tweet, he wrote: “I think it’s important to take a stand. There’s just too many of these people on social media. Thanks for your support friends.”