UPDATE: Gary Lineker, the BBC’s highest-paid presenter, has become the latest host to distance themselves from The Sun‘s story about a male BBC star paying a teen for sexual images. “Hate to disappoint the haters but it’s not me,” he tweeted.
Twitter users have been speculating wildly about the identity of the individual after The Sun reported that an unnamed male star had given a teen more than £35,000 ($45,000) in return for explicit pictures.
Vine’s name was trending in the UK at one point, while Clark was also accused. The Radio 2 hosts brushed off the allegations in seperate tweets on Saturday afternoon.
“Not sure why my names floating about but re that story in the sun- that ain’t me babe. I’m Currently filming a show in Italy for the bbc, so take my name out ya mouths,” Clark said.
Deadline spoke to several BBC and industry sources on Saturday and the name of one individual has come up repeatedly.
The BBC declined to comment beyond a statement issued on Friday, in which it said that it would take the allegations “very seriously.”
Questions about the BBC’s handling of the matter are already growing. The Sun reported that the teenager’s mother lodged a complaint with the BBC on May 19, but the presenter remained on air.
Mark Williams-Thomas, a journalist who played a key role in exposing Jimmy Savile’s atrocities, said he was familiar with the case. He claimed the BBC’s handling of the complaint had been “shocking and very disappointing.”
The Sun reported that the exchanges started in 2020 when the teenager was aged 17. The mother claimed that her child had used the money to fund their crack cocaine habit. “I blame this BBC man for destroying my child’s life,” she was quoted as saying.
The BBC said: “We treat any allegations very seriously and we have processes in place to proactively deal with them.
“As part of that, if we receive information that requires further investigation or examination we will take steps to do this. That includes actively attempting to speak to those who have contacted us in order to seek further detail and understanding of the situation.
“If we get no reply to our attempts or receive no further contact that can limit our ability to progress things but it does not mean our enquiries stop. If, at any point, new information comes to light or is provided – including via newspapers – this will be acted upon appropriately, in line with internal processes.”