BBC presenter timeline

Everything that has happened so far in the unnamed BBC presenter scandal

The presenter was recently suspended

The BBC has been facing scrutiny following reports that a top male BBC presenter allegedly paid a teenager for sexually explicit images.

The unnamed presenter is currently suspended as the BBC continues to investigate. It comes after The Sun reported that a top BBC presenter had allegedly paid a total of £35,000 for explicit images.

Here is a full timeline of the events surrounding the BBC presenter allegations.

Friday, May 19th

On May 19th 2023, the family of the person who was 17 when the presenter allegedly began paying them for sexually explicit images, complained to the BBC.

According to The Sun, the family asked the broadcaster to make the presenter “stop sending the cash”. The family reportedly grew frustrated when the presenter was still on air the following month.

The BBC confirmed in a statement it had “first became aware of a complaint in May”.

Thursday, July 6th

The BBC said they became aware of new allegations against the unnamed presenter, but further details were not revealed.

“New allegations were put to us on Thursday of a different nature and in addition to our own inquiries we have also been in touch with external authorities, in line with our protocols,” the broadcaster said in a statement.

Friday, July 7th

The Sun’s exclusive interview with the youth’s mother was published both online and in print. The publication said the unnamed presenter is “a familiar face who is known to millions”.

In the interview, the mother claimed the presenter asked for “performances” and she had seen bank statements showing payments totalling to more than £35,000.

The youth, who is now 20 years old, used the money to fuel a “crack cocaine” habit, according to their mother.

“I blame this BBC man for destroying my child’s life — taking my child’s innocence and handing over the money for crack cocaine that could kill my child,” the mother told The Sun, adding: “Whenever I see him on telly, I feel sick.”

The BBC responded to the article, saying it treated “any allegations very seriously”. The broadcaster 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, July 8th

High profile BBC presenters publicly denied claims they were the unnamed presenter after speculation about the identity of the person began to spread online.

Celebrities including Gary Lineker, Rylan Clark, Jeremy Vine and Nicky Campbell all released statements on Twitter saying they were not the presenter.

“Not sure why my name [is] floating about but re that story in The Sun – that ain’t me babe,” Rylan wrote on Twitter.

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker posted on Twitter later that day he was not the BBC presenter either. “Hate to disappoint the haters but it’s not me,” he wrote.

Sunday, July 9th

It was then announced a male presenter had been suspended from duties and the BBC had contacted the police over the allegations.

The BBC confirmed a male member of staff had been suspended. “It is important that these matters are handled fairly and with care.” It said it expected to be able to provide a further update in the “coming days”.

In a statement on Sunday afternoon, the broadcaster said it “takes any allegations seriously” and has “robust internal processes in place to proactively deal with such allegations”.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police later said the force had “initial contact” from the BBC but “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 spoke out about the allegations. Shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, said the scandal was “deeply concerning”.

When asked about an alleged delay in investigating, 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.”

Later on Sunday evening, The Sun published further allegations claiming the presenter called the young person and asked: “What have you done?” It has been reported the unnamed presenter then asked the young person to speak to their mother and urge her to stop the investigation.

Monday, 11th July

The Metropolitan Police said it would be undertaking further enquiries after meeting with the BBC about the allegations.

The Met’s Specialist Crime Command met with representatives from the BBC and they are assessing the information discussed and further enquiries will be taking place to establish if there is evidence of a criminal offence being committed.

Later in the day, a lawyer representing the young person told the BBC “nothing inappropriate or unlawful” took place between their client and the BBC personality.

In their letter sent to the BBC, the lawyer says the young person sent a message on WhatsApp to the paper on Friday evening denying the claims, saying the statement their mother made to the newspaper was “totally wrong and there was no truth to it”.

“For the avoidance of doubt, nothing inappropriate or unlawful has taken place between our client and the BBC personality and the allegations reported in the Sun newspaper are rubbish,” the lawyer wrote.

In response, The Sun said: “We have reported a story about two very concerned parents who made a complaint to the BBC about the behaviour of a presenter and the welfare of their child. Their complaint was not acted upon by the BBC.

“We have seen evidence that supports their concerns. It’s now for the BBC to properly investigate.”

Following on from The Sun’s statement, the mother and step-father who made the initial claims said they “stand by” their allegations.

The mother said: “It is sad but we stand by our account and we hope they get the help they need. We did this to help – and the presenter has got into their head. How did they afford a lawyer? We are so sad.”

This article will be updated.

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Featured image credit via Joe Shields on Unsplash and Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/Shutterstock.