DAVE Lee Travis, the former Radio 1 DJ, has been arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Yewtree on suspicion of sexual offences.
• DJ accused of groping women in 70s and 80s
• BBC postpones Top of the Pops re-run from 1977
The 67-year-old was arrested at his home in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire at 7.45 am yesterday morning as part of the widening investigation into individuals triggered by allegations of sexual abuse against the late presenter Jimmy Savile.
The DJ who joined Radio 1 in 1967 is the fourth person to be arrested as part of the investigation. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police would not confirm the identity of the person arrested, but was quoted as saying that they were classified under the “others” strand of the investigation. However it was reported by a neighbour of the former disc jockey that he was being held in Aylesbury Police Station in Buckinghamshire. Officers are looking at three strands within the inquiry: claims against Savile, those against Savile and others, and those against others. Most of the ‘others’ allegations have been made against people associated with the entertainment industry.
It is understood that there has been no suggestion that any allegations of paedophilia have been made against Mr Travis, but that they are related to allegations made in recent weeks that the DJ groped two women during the 1970s and 1980s. The former presenter of Sky, Vivien Creegor, 55, said he jiggled her breasts while she was on air on Radio 4, while another woman, who was aged 17 at the time, alleged that the DJ invited her into his studio in 1977 and then put his hand up her skirt.
Last month Dave Lee Travis said he was happy to speak to the police in an effort to clear up the matter. He said: “I categorically deny that there is any substance in either allegation and I’m genuinely surprised that allegations of this nature have been made. I totally refute any impropriety.” He also said: “It’s nonsense, completely untrue. If police get in touch, I’m happy to get it sorted. I hate being tarred with the same brush as Savile.”
The DJ, known by his nicknames DLT and the Hairy Cornflake, is best known for his 25 years on Radio 1, as well as presenting many episodes of Top of the Pops in the 1970s and 1980s. Last night the BBC postponed the transmission of an edition of Top of the Pops from 1977 which was hosted by Travis and was due to be broadcast on BBC 4 and replaced it with an edition presented by Kid Jensen. A spokesman for the BBC said: “In the light of today’s news, we have postponed tonight’s Top of the Pops. In its place we are showing next week’s edition of TOTP presented by Kid Jensen.”
Travis’s career on Radio 1 ended in 1993 when he resigned on-air after telling listeners that he was unhappy with the changes being made by BBC management. He now presents The DLT Show, a radio programme on the Magic Network. Last night Bauer Media, which owns the Magic Network, said they had no comment to make about the arrest of their presenter.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said that the latest arrest “falls under the strand of the investigation we have termed ‘Others’” meaning the allegations are unrelated to Savile. The force said that the “vast majority” of the 450 possible victims were alleging sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile, the TV presenter and DJ who died last year, aged 84.
Since details emerged that suggested Savile was a paedophile who abused young people on BBC premises, in various care homes and hospitals, including Broadmoor, over a period of five decades, a number of other individuals have been arrested. The former pop star, Gary Glitter, 68, whose real name is Paul Gadd, was arrested on suspicion of sex offences and bailed under mid-December. On 1 November Freddie Starr, the comedian, was arrested on suspicion of sexual offences while on Sunday, Wilfred De’ath, a former BBC producer, was also arrested on suspicion of sexual offences. He was later bailed until December.
Earlier this year Travis met the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi when she visited the UK. The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate said she listened to his programme, A Jolly Good Show, during her time under house arrest in Rangoon. Dave Lee Travis said he was pleased to know the show had lifted her spirits, adding that he found her ‘’just fantastic’’. She has been quoted as saying: “I would listen to that quite happily because the listeners would write in and I had a chance to hear other people’s words. It made my world much more complete.”
Yesterday the Children’s charity the NSPCC said it had received 236 calls about Savile, an average of five per day, since the first sexual abuse allegations emerged. The number of contacts made about other claims of sexual abuse has trebled in the last month, rising to 550. Director of the NSPCC’s helpline Peter Watt said: “It’s crucial that people continue to come forward, whether they have information about Savile or anyone else. Our prime focus has to be on protecting children, particularly those unable to speak out themselves, and bringing offenders to justice. Sometimes people wait months or years before reporting abuse but we would urge them to act quickly so they can get help as soon as possible. While the whole Savile episode has been distressing it has also led to more victims of abuse seeking support, which is positive.”