Police arrest BBC's Jim Davidson in child sex scandal

Savile has been accused of abusing around 300 victims over a 40-year period at a number of institutions, including the BBC. Photo / AP
Savile has been accused of abusing around 300 victims over a 40-year period at a number of institutions, including the BBC. Photo / AP

British television presenter Jim Davidson has become the latest celebrity to be arrested by police investigating historic sexual abuse allegations, media reports say.

Metropolitan Police said officers from Operation Yewtree, set up last year in the wake of claims of abuse against late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile, had detained two men in their 50s on suspicion of sexual offences.

One man, aged 53, was arrested in Hampshire, southern England, at 8.00am local and another man, 59, was arrested in west London two hours later and taken to a London police station, according to a police spokesman.

Scotland Yard stressed that the arrests were not connected to the specific allegations made against Savile.

Davidson, 59, found fame as a bawdy stand-up comedian in the 1970s before going on to host BBC's prime-time snooker-based game show, Big Break, during the 90s.

The presenter, once named Britain's funniest man, has spoken about his battles against alcoholism and admitted to violent attacks against his former wife.

According to reports, he was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport shortly after flying in to take part in this year's Celebrity Big Brother show.

Photographers snapped three people - believed to be police officers - arriving at Davidson's house and later carrying clear evidence bags out of the building.

Operation Yewtree has three strands; one looking at the actions of Savile, another at claims made against "Savile and others", and a third relating to complaints against people unconnected to Savile.

Wednesday's arrests, the ninth and 10th of the operation, come under the third strand, police said.

Savile, who died last year aged 84 after a long career in British television and radio, has been accused of abusing around 300 victims over a 40-year period at a number of institutions, including the BBC and three hospitals.

The scandal has snowballed since claims that Savile molested underage girls were aired in a television documentary last month, leading to the arrests of singer Gary Glitter and comedian Freddie Starr.

- AFP

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