COMEDIAN Jimmy Tarbuck was arrested in connection with the alleged sexual attack on a young boy in the 1970s, it emerged last night.
Police detained Tarbuck, 73, at his home in Kingston Upon Thames, London, on 26 April.
Tarbuck was questioned after claims about the alleged abuse of a boy in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. The arrest remained secret because North Yorkshire Police chose not to release the information.
The arrest arose from allegations made to officers working on Operation Yewtree – set up after TV presenter Jimmy Savile was exposed as a paedophile with more than 450 victims.
North Yorkshire Police said Tarbuck’s arrest came after information was passed on by Metropolitan Police officers working on Operation Yewtree.
The force stressed that this arrest “is not part of Yewtree, but a separate investigation” by North Yorkshire Police.
Police have arrested 12 men as part of the operation, including convicted paedophile Gary Glitter, comics Freddie Starr and Jim Davidson, presenter Rolf Harris and DJ Dave Lee Travis.
All deny any wrongdoing and investigations are continuing.
Last night, Tarbuck said: “I’m not commenting on this. You need to speak to my solicitor.”
A police spokesman said: “North Yorkshire Police can confirm that a 73-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a historic child sex abuse investigation in Harrogate. He was released on police bail pending further enquiries.’
Meanwhile, the BBC has announced a “freestanding investigation” into how disgraced TV star Stuart Hall was able to abuse his victims while working for the corporation.
The fact-finding mission will feed into Dame Janet Smith’s Jimmy Savile inquiry, but will be led by a “different individual” because of a “potential conflict of interest”.
A BBC spokesman said: “In light of a potential conflict of interest with Dame Janet Smith, there will be a freestanding investigation covering Stuart Hall’s conduct at the BBC which will feed into her review. This work will be led by a different individual appointed by the BBC.”
The potential conflict of interest has arisen because Dame Janet Smith knows Ray Colley, who worked with Hall at the BBC in Manchester.
Hall, 83, has admitted indecently assaulting 13 girls during the 1960s, 70s and 80s, including one aged just nine.
Yesterday’s announcement is an apparent change in the corporation’s position since Sunday when the chairman of the BBC Trust Lord Patten had ruled out the need for a second inquiry into how Hall was able to abuse his victims while working at the BBC.
Lord Patten had said that, instead, Dame Janet’s review into Savile would be extended to also investigate how Hall.
Speaking on Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Lord Patten also admitted the corporation was likely to face compensation claims from Hall’s victims.
Hall, who shot to fame presenting It’s A Knockout, faces jail after pleading guilty to a string of offences against the girls.
His first victim to make a formal complaint to police, after being prompted by the Savile scandal, has spoken of how the TV presenter tricked her into trusting him before he sexually abused her.
Kim Wright waived her right to anonymity to reveal how Hall attacked her when she was 17.
At the time Mrs Wright, now 45, did not complain because she feared she would be branded a “troublemaker”. However, her complaint prompted more victims to step forward and helped secure Hall’s conviction.
Hall was granted bail on condition he lives at home and has no unsupervised contact with children.