Europe

Monday 28 July 2014

It used to be called giving someone a cuddle, says DJ

Sam Marsden and Hannah Furness London

Published 17/11/2012|05:00

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DAVE LEE TRAVIS, the former BBC Radio 1 DJ, has protested his innocence after he was arrested over claims that he had groped women, saying that his tactile behaviour used to be regarded as "giving somebody a cuddle".

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The one-time 'Top of the Pops' presenter, who was questioned by detectives from the Jimmy Savile sex abuse investigation on Thursday, insisted that the allegations against him had "nothing to do with children".

Mr Travis (67), known as DLT or the Hairy Cornflake, emerged from his house near Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, in England, to describe how he had been accused of "squeezing the boobs of a couple of women" but suggested that his conduct had once been considered normal.

"I think that sometimes, you know, us guys who are a bit older, who are, shall we say, tactile, which is not a terrible thing to be; in the old days you put your arm around somebody and gave them a little kiss or a cuddle," the radio presenter said.

"Yeah, that's fine. But nowadays, you know, you'd have to stop and think, 'Is this an assault?

"Now, I'm not saying that I haven't put my arms round people or anything like that, and I'm not saying that any of this is right or wrong at the moment, but I'm just trying to get the facts out.

"But anyway, I was accused, quote, of 'squeezing the boobs of a couple of women'. In the old days it was called 'putting your arm around somebody and giving them a cuddle' but nowadays God knows."

Mr Travis's weekend show on Magic AM, which is broadcast across northern England, was taken off air yesterday after he was bailed until January.

A spokesman for Bauer Media, which owns the radio station, said: "While we can make no judgment on the matters under investigation, we believe it would be inappropriate for him to broadcast until they are resolved."

Mr Travis said he was sad to learn that his show had been suspended, adding: "Whatever happened to innocent until proved guilty?"

Evil

In a conversation with reporters outside his home lasting nearly 30 minutes, the DJ said he did not want to be linked to the child abuse allegedly carried out by Savile. "I do not wish to have my name sullied around something that bloody evil," he said.

Mr Travis sought to distance himself from the 'Jim'll Fix It' presenter, saying he only "bumped into him a couple of times a year". He added: "I don't know anything about him."

Mr Travis was the fourth person to be arrested under Operation Yewtree, the Metropolitan Police inquiry set up after an ITV documentary last month exposed Savile as a prolific sexual predator.

The number of people allegedly abused by Savile who are suing for compensation now stands at 53, but it could reach 100. Legal action has begun against Savile's estate, the BBC, Leeds General Infirmary and Stoke Mandeville and Broadmoor hospitals.

At least another 10 BBC staff have reportedly been accused of sexual misconduct in the past week and a half, taking the total to 39 since the Savile scandal broke. The BBC declined to confirm the figures but said all new allegations were investigated.

Irish Independent

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