Sir Cliff Richard’s lawyers in court over BBC report

Sir Cliff Richard is suing the BBC over sex offender report. Pic: David Davies/PA Wire
Sir Cliff Richard is suing the BBC over sex offender report. Pic: David Davies/PA Wire
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Lawyers representing Sir Cliff Richard are at the High Court for the latest stage of a dispute between the singer and the BBC.

Sir Cliff has sued the BBC over reports naming him as a suspected sex offender and wants damages.

BBC editors have said they will “defend ourselves vigorously”.

Detail of Sir Cliff’s claim emerged last year in paperwork lodged by lawyers at the High Court.

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Mr Justice Mann is overseeing the latest in a series of preliminary hearings in London.

Sir Cliff was not at the hearing which is due to end on Friday.

Lawyers said the judge was considering a number of legal issues before a planned trial.

The singer has taken legal action against the BBC and South Yorkshire Police over coverage of a raid at his apartment in Sunningdale, Berkshire, in August 2014.

Lawyers representing Sir Cliff said in written submissions in October that he had suffered “profound and long-lasting” damage.

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In December a BBC spokeswoman said bosses would defend the coverage.

She said the BBC had reported Sir Cliff’s “full denial of the allegations at every stage”.

In June, South Yorkshire Police apologised “wholeheartedly for the additional anxiety caused” by the force’s “initial handling of the media interest” in its investigation.