BBC withholds name of presenter in photo scandal


Tim Davie, head of the BBC, insisted on Tuesday that the identity of a high-profile presenter, who is accused of having paid a teenager for sexually explicit photos, not be made public.

This male presenter of the BBC was suspended after a damning media report was published last week. The presenter is in this report from the tabloid The Sun accused of paying £35 000 (about R845 000) over three years for explicit photos of a teenager.

Since then, there has been speculation on social media about who the presenter is.

The Daily Mail reports that “one in six” Britons know who the presenter is.

However, Davie of the BBC insists that there are established “processes and protocol” and that this broadcaster has a duty of care towards all those involved in the scandal. “We always take these cases seriously and try to manage them with care,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

The alleged victim’s family claims in the report of The Sun that transactions between the presenter and their child began three years ago when the latter was 17 years old. The teenager apparently used the money for drugs.

However, the alleged victim’s (now 20-year-old) legal team has since sent out a legal letter in which it is argued that there is absolutely no truth in The Sun ‘s report doesn’t stick.

“That’s bullshit… Nothing inappropriate or illegal took place between our client and the BBC personality,” says the alleged victim’s legal representative.

According to the legal letter, the alleged victim also The Sun asked not to publish the allegations.

The scandal has since drawn attention to Britain’s complicated and increasingly strict privacy laws. The British media is currently very careful about revealing someone’s identity before the person is formally investigated or arrested.

In 2018, the BBC was forced to pay substantial damages for breach of privacy to the singer Cliff Richard after the British broadcaster broadcast live footage of a 2014 police raid on his home.