Sunday 22 July 2018

Countryfile presenter Helen Skelton: 'I was groped on live telly when I was pregnant'

Helen Skelton
Helen Skelton
Helen Skelton on BBC's Countryfile
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

BBC presenter Helen Skelton says she was groped on air by a man she was interviewing while she was pregnant.

She didn't specify which programme or who the man was, only relating that it was in 2014 when a man "grabbed my a**e" while hosting a sporting segment.

"Basically, this guy grabbed me on the a**e when I was presenting live telly. I felt really awkward about it," she told the Telegraph.

"I was pregnant at the time as well. I didn't really know what to do. It’s intimidating and you don’t want to be the person who is being difficult and awkward.

"That’s just the culture that television breeds. No one wants to be difficult. You want to bring solutions, not problems. We are all 'Happy, happy…'"

One of her colleagues, Colin Murray, saw what happened and complained on her behalf.

Helen Skelton on BBC's Countryfile
Helen Skelton on BBC's Countryfile

"He kicked off and said that needs dealing with. It was handled brilliantly because of that. I’d never thought about complaining," she explained.

Skelton says the reason she's sharing the story now isn't in accordance with the #MeToo movement, but rather encouraging action even when you're too embarrassed to do so - like on live television.

"I don’t want it to become my identity. The man in question was punished. There was a line drawn under it, and that was that."

She is hoping the movement might evolve and take a new shape, adding that "we are getting too wound up about it all, and losing the ability to actually change things".

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