Comedian arrested in Savile scandal

Freddie Starr. Photo Getty
Freddie Starr. Photo Getty
British police have arrested comedian Freddie Starr as part of an investigation triggered by allegations that late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile sexually abused children, media reported.

Police said in a statement they had arrested a man in his 60s on suspicion of sex offences. The man was identified by Sky News and ITV News as Starr, who earlier had offered to talk to police.

With hundreds of people now coming forward to report abuse dating back over several decades, police are working on three broad lines of inquiry: alleged offences by Savile, by others, and by Savile and others acting together.

"The individual falls under the strand of the investigation we have termed 'Savile and others'," the police said.

The allegations have shaken Britain's state-funded broadcaster and shocked fans of the once highly popular Savile who was as famous for his charity work as he was for his eccentric TV style.

Police have described cigar-chomping Savile, who died last year at the age of 84, as one of Britain's most prolific sex offenders.

Lawyers representing some of the victims have said their clients indicated an organised paedophile ring involving celebrities existed at the BBC during the height of Savile's fame in the 1970s and 1980s.

Starr, 69, has publicly denied one allegation linked to a show Savile presented in the 1970s.

"I'm being persecuted by the press saying that I have been with underage girls and I haven't - never will I go with underage girls," Starr told the BBC last month.

"I'm totally innocent. Totally innocent. I would never go with a girl like that ... I hope they question me, I want to clear my name. I've got nothing to hide."

The comedian, singer and impressionist was the subject of one of Britain's best known newspaper headlines - Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster.

The fictitious story in the top-selling Sun newspaper involved Starr eating a woman's pet hamster after she refused to make him a sandwich.

On Sunday, police arrested glam rock singer and convicted sex offender Gary Glitter, born Paul Gadd, as part of the Savile investigation. He was released on bail.


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