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Paul Gambaccini latest celebrity arrested under Operation Yewtree

By | Published on Monday 4 November 2013

Paul Gambaccini

Veteran BBC presenter and famous dead-musician-tribute-giver Paul Gambaccini is the latest person to be arrested on suspicion of sexual offences as a result of the Operation Yewtree investigation launched in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

As previously reported, Operation Yewtree has three elements to it, one focused on the numerous allegations of sexual assault made posthumously against Savile himself, a second focused on colleagues of Savile with links to his crimes, and a third bigger strand looking at claims made against other celebrities unrelated to Savile but also involving allegations of historic sexual abuse.

It’s as part of the third strand that Gambaccini was questioned. Details of the allegations against him are not known, but the presenter – who spoke candidly about Savile’s reputation at the BBC when the scandal that led to Operation Yewtree first exploded – has denied any wrong doing. A friend of Gambaccini said that the DJ had been co-operative with police and strongly denied all the allegations that had been made.

While Gambaccini himself is quoted as saying: “On Monday night, 28 Oct, I attended an excellent production of the Kander and Ebb musical ‘The Scottsboro Boys’ at the Young Vic theatre. It concerned a group of black men in Alabama in the 1930s who were falsely accused of sexual offences. Within hours, I was arrested by Operation Yewtree. Nothing had changed, except this time there was no music”.

Despite Gambaccini denying the claims against him, the BBC quickly decided to suspend his Radio 2 output, though it insisted that it did so at the request of the presenter himself. A BBC spokesman said: “Paul Gambaccini has decided that, in light of today’s media attention, he would rather not be on-air at present and we respect that decision. Therefore, Paul will not be presenting on BBC Radio in [the] coming weeks and replacement programmes for the period will be announced soon”.

Gambaccini is the fifteenth person to be arrested under Operation Yewtree. After several hours of police questioning last Tuesday he was bailed until January.