Friday 30 September 2016

DJ Tony Blackburn: BBC sacked me over my evidence to sex abuse review

Hannah Stubbs

Published 25/02/2016 | 00:03

DJ Tony Blackburn, who says he has been sacked by the BBC over his evidence to a sex abuse review
DJ Tony Blackburn, who says he has been sacked by the BBC over his evidence to a sex abuse review

Tony Blackburn says he has been sacked by the BBC over his evidence to a sex abuse review.

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The veteran DJ has pledged to take legal action against the corporation, which he claims is making him a "scapegoat" for the "cover-up" of abuse of an under-age girl.

His shock departure comes ahead of the publication on Thursday of a report into the BBC's culture and practices during the years Jimmy Savile and fellow shamed presenter Stuart Hall worked at the corporation by former Court of Appeal judge Dame Janet Smith.

Blackburn, 73, claims that "all relationships" he had with the BBC were "terminated with immediate effect" this week because his evidence to the review over an investigation in 1971 contradicts the BBC's version of events in relation to an allegation of assault by the mother of a 15-year-old who later committed suicide.

He says he was never interviewed over the incident but claims the BBC says he was interviewed twice.

In a statement he said: "Sadly what is happening to me now seems to be entirely in keeping with the past BBC culture of whitewash and cover-up.

"Naturally, I am now left with no choice but to take legal action against the BBC. They have taken away a career I love and I will not allow them to destroy my reputation."

Listings for Blackburn's two upcoming BBC Radio London shows on the BBC website say that fellow DJs Jaki Graham and Lemar will be sitting in for him.

Information for his scheduled Radio 2 vintage chart Pick Of The Pops still states he will be presenting.

The BBC declined to comment.

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