An unnamed BBC presenter has been suspended after being accused of paying a teenager thousands of pounds for sexually explicit photos.
The male presenter – reportedly a “household name” – first requested images in 2020 when the youth was aged 17 and made a series of payments over the years, according to The Sun.
They allegedly paid more than £35,000, which the young person had reportedly used to fund an addiction to crack cocaine – which had “destroyed” their life.
BBC presenter claims latest: Police contacted over explicit photos claim
In a statement on Sunday, the BBC said the presenter had been suspended after it had received new allegations of a different nature in addition to their own enquiries.
It has also now been in touch with external authorities, the corporation said.
Here is a look at what allegations have been made and when they first came to light.
Friday 19 May: The family first make a complaint to the BBC. In the complaint, they reportedly asked the broadcaster to make the man “stop sending the cash”.
When the presenter was still on air a month later, the family reportedly became frustrated. The BBC confirmed in a statement that it had “first became aware of a complaint in May”.
June: The youth receives a £1,000 payment – allegedly made via PayPal, from the presenter, according to The Sun. Their mother said they “suddenly had this cash” after running out of money.
She said the payment had made it “obvious the BBC hadn’t spoken to this man… as they thought he was too important”.
She also claimed that initially, the “security boss gave us a number that didn’t exist”.
Thursday 6 July: The BBC receives “new allegations” of a “different nature” – but the broadcaster does not reveal any further details.
Friday 7 July: The Sun’s bombshell exclusive is published both online and in print. The paper said the presenter is “a familiar face who is known to millions” and is also paid a six-figure salary by the BBC.
In the interview, the youth’s mother claimed that the presenter requested “performances” and that she had seen bank account statements showing payments totalling more than £35,000 – including one lump sum of £5,000.
Now 20 years of age, the youth had used the presenter’s money to fuel a serious drug problem, the mother said.
The BBC responded to the article saying: “We treat any allegations very seriously and we have processes in place to proactively deal with them.”
It said it would “take steps” to investigate further “if we receive information”, including “actively attempting to speak to those who have contacted us in order to seek further detail and understanding of the situation”.
Saturday 8 July: Various BBC presenters choose to publicly clear their names after speculation about the identity of the presenter swirls online. Celebrities including Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker, BBC Radio 2 hosts Jeremy Vine and Rylan Clark, and BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Nicky Campbell all release separate statements on Twitter.
Clark, who said he is currently in Italy filming for the BBC, said: “Not sure why my names floating about but re that story in the sun – that ain’t me babe.” Whilst Lineker added: “Hate to disappoint the haters but it’s not me.”
Campbell appeared to contact the Metropolitan Police after falsely being named online. Sharing screenshots of the police website on social media, he said: “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.”
On Saturday evening, The Sun published an update to its allegations. It claimed that the youth’s mother had seen images of the presenter sitting on his sofa in his underpants. The picture was reportedly taken during a video call between the pair.
Former home secretary Priti Patel called for a “full and transparent investigation”, calling the BBC “faceless” and an “unaccountable organisation” on social media.
Sunday 9 July: A male presenter is suspended from duties and BBC contact police over allegations. In a statement, it said the situation was “complex and fast moving” and the corporation is “working as quickly as possible to establish the facts”.
“New allegations were put to us on Thursday of a different nature and in addition to our own enquiries we have also been in touch with external authorities, in line with our protocols,” a statement said.
Director-general Tim Davie also sent round an email to BBC staff, reiterating that it was taking the allegations “incredibly seriously”. He said the BBC is in contact with the family referenced in the reports and condemned rumours about “some of our presenting talent”. He also said individuals involved were “entitled to privacy”.
A spokesperson for the Met Police later said the force had “initial contact” from the BBC but that “no formal referral or allegation has been made”.
“We will require additional information before determining what further action should follow,” they said.
A number of politicians also speak of their concern over the allegations. Dame Caroline Dinenage, who chairs the Culture, Media and Sport committee, said she was concerned that the corporation had taken a “very long time” to investigate the claims.
Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, said the scandal was “deeply concerning”.
When asked about an alleged delay in investigating the complaint, she told Sky News: “I think that’s the concerning thing, that someone makes a complaint – a very serious complaint – and then puts on the telly the next night and they’re still there.”
The culture secretary Lucy Frazer avoided questions about the scandal after being asked about it at the British Grand Prix.