AN ALLEGED victim of veteran presenter Dave Lee Travis has told a court that when she worked at the BBC in the mid-1970s, “it was common practice to have tongues down your throat, tongues in your ear, bums being squeezed”.
The woman, who alleges that Travis pinned her up against a wall while presenting his Radio 1 show and put his hand inside her knickers, said that as she became more mature, she learned how to deal with the unwanted attention.
The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told London’s Southwark Crown Court yesterday she was 17 when she started working at the BBC’s Broadcasting House.
She told jurors: “During that time, I just got on with it. You had to get on with it. There wasn’t anybody to talk to about it.
“The more time I spent at the BBC, the more I realised it was common practice to have tongues down your throat, tongues in your ear, bums being squeezed. Even when I was in [another department at the BBC] it was like that but I was a bit more forewarned and a bit more forearmed and a bit more mature.”
Earlier, the woman said she did not tell anyone at the time of the alleged assault by Travis, now 68, as she thought no-one would believe her, but tried to complain to the BBC after allegations about Jimmy Savile were publicised.
She told jurors: “They said we are not taking calls of this nature so I felt like the BBC had slammed the door in my face. I was surprised.”
Giving evidence from behind a screen, the woman told the court that Travis had invited her into his empty studio while a song was playing.
She said he turned the lights off before holding her close to him in a slow dance before assaulting her.
Travis, who denies 13 counts of indecent assault and one of sexual assault, gave a loud sigh from the dock as the woman described how he “caught my eye” as she stood outside the door and asked if she wanted to choose the next track on his drivetime show.
The alleged victim, who said she had a clerical role at the corporation, said she had been “starstruck” by Travis when she had seen him in the studios previously and he had twice given her a lift in his car, which he described as “my big yellow banana”.
She told jurors that after turning the lights out so that the technical operator in the adjoining studio could not see, he played a “smoochy song” on the national radio station and put his arms out for her to dance with him.
The woman, who recalled he smelled of cigars and said she felt his woolly jumper against her skin, felt “confused” as Travis held her close as they danced, adding: “I was struck dumb a bit, I wasn’t sure what to do.”
She said she then became aware that Travis was sexually aroused.
Jurors were told that the woman is taking legal action against the BBC.
The trial continues.