The BBC is investigating one of its own radio presenters for sexual harassment after he allegedly groped a string of female colleagues.
- Presenter ‘approached women from behind and put his hand under skirts’
- Unidentified man is alleged to have assaulted at least eight female BBC staff
- Four women who claim to have been groped reported him to senior bosses
- BBC is understood to have launched a secret investigation into his behaviour
The presenter – who cannot be named for legal reasons – would typically approach the women from behind whilst they were wearing skirts, and put his hand underneath to feel them, it has been claimed.
He is alleged to have assaulted at least eight female BBC staff.
Four of the women who claim to have been groped reported him to senior BBC bosses late last week, and each submitted statements detailing their encounters.
They told the controller of the radio station that they wanted the man in question fired.
But instead of removing him from his post immediately, the BBC is understood to have launched a secret investigation into his behaviour.
The Corporation’s internal ‘BBC Investigations’ unit, staffed by former police officers, is leading the probe, amid fears that the presenter’s behaviour with BBC staff is just the tip of the iceberg.
The man is said to have been ‘incredibly bold’ towards his colleagues, allegedly groping them in public places with other staff around them.
The allegations span six years, and – in the case of the four women who reported him to BBC bosses – it is alleged that the assaults took place at informal events with other BBC staff, off the BBC’s premises.
According to sources, the investigators have been informed of eight BBC staff who have allegedly been harassed by the man, although only four of them have made a formal complaint about him.
A source said the others were ‘too scared’ to do so, in case it harmed their careers.
The four women who did complain were also worried about a potential backlash, but they were emboldened after they secured the backing of a well-known female radio presenter.
A source said: ‘The BBC is taking it incredibly seriously, so they are trying to gather all the women involved.
BBC bosses are now believed to have confronted the man in question. They have also urged his alleged victims to contact the police.
However, the women who reported him are understood to be growing increasingly angry that the BBC has taken a week to act.
He has since appeared on air multiple time, despite assurances from senior figures that they are taking the matter very seriously.
A BBC spokesman said today: ‘We can’t comment on individuals but treat any allegations seriously and have processes in place for investigating them.’
The man declined to comment on the allegations when contacted.
Pressure on BBC after Jimmy Savile scandal
The BBC will be under huge pressure to handle the matter properly, after the Jimmy Savile scandal.
The Corporation is still badly bruised by revelations about the DJ’s vile campaign of sexual harassment and abuse on the BBC’s premises.
Savile assaulted 72 people at the Corporation, including 34 boys and girls under the age of 16. One was just eight years old.
He was one of a string of prominent BBC stars to have been exposed as serial predators, who were able to target vulnerable young fans and staff because the BBC’s middle-managers silenced complaints and ignored rumours.
A report into the saga published last year said that there was a culture of fear at the organisation that still exists today, and which makes it hard for people to speak up about harassment.