A “household name” BBC presenter accused of paying a teenager for explicit photos is facing fresh allegations that he stripped to his underpants during a video call with the youth.
The young person’s mother said she was “shocked” after her offspring showed her a screenshot of the video chat, in which the unnamed star was sitting in his boxer shorts on a sofa at his home.
She told The Sun that the man appeared to be “leaning forward, getting ready for my child to perform for him.”
“My child told me, ‘I have shown things’ and this was a picture from some kind of video call,” she added.
The newspaper did not say when the alleged incident happened.
The mother also alleged that earlier this year she was shocked after overhearing the presenter “on the phone saying to my child: ‘I told you not to f***ing ring me’.”
It comes after The Sun previously claimed that the well-known presenter had paid a total of more than £35,000 to the youth in return for “sexual pictures”.
The man is said to have first requested images when the teenager was 17 back in 2020, and has made a series of payments since then.
No one involved has been named, but The Sun said the presenter has not been suspended and is thought to still being paid his six-figure salary in full.
It said the family made a complaint on 19 May but came forward to the media after becoming frustrated that the man was still on air a month later.
The mother said her offspring told her they had also received a payment of £1,000 in June over PayPal which suggested that the “BBC hadn’t spoken to this man” in the weeks after the initial complaint.
Going public ‘the only way to stop it’
The presenter is now off-air and the BBC has reportedly launched an investigation, although the corporation has not confirmed this.
The youth, who is now aged 20, used the money to fund a crack cocaine habit which “destroyed” their life, the mother has also claimed.
She told the newspaper: “If it goes on then my child is going to wind up dead. Putting this out to the public is the only way to stop it.”
The claims have prompted frenzied speculation on social media over the identity of the presenter and led to a string of BBC stars, including Jeremy Vine and Gary Lineker, to public speak out to deny they are the mystery figure.
‘Right systems and processes must be in place’
Dame Caroline Dinenage, senior Conservative MP and chair of the Culture, Media and Sport committee, said she was concerned that the corporation had taken “a very long time” to investigate the claims.
“It’s vital that TV companies have in place the right systems and processes to ensure their stars, who have disproportionate power and influence over the lives and careers of others, don’t abuse it,” she said.
“Clearly the BBC now has some questions to answer. There is pressure on their HR department to investigate these latest claims quickly and explain what has happened since this story first came to light back in May.”
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On BBC’s News at Ten programme on Saturday, the broadcaster’s special correspondent Lucy Manning described the situation as “very serious for the BBC” and warned it could “severely dent the BBC’s reputation”.
She added: “The understanding is the presenter isn’t due on air in the near future, but we haven’t been told – and we have asked…. whether there has or hasn’t been a formal suspension.
“The BBC will need to answer if the investigation should have happened sooner, if it should have been more thorough, and if it’s fair to other presenters, unconnected to this, that their names are now sort of in the headlines.”
‘We treat any allegations very seriously’
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.”
They added: “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.”