DLT: I’m not a sex pest, just cuddly by nature

Dave Lee Travis has told a jury that he is not a “sexual predator” but admitted he had a “cuddly nature”.

Dave Lee Travis spoke of the stress caused by the allegations. Picture: Getty
Dave Lee Travis spoke of the stress caused by the allegations. Picture: Getty
Dave Lee Travis spoke of the stress caused by the allegations. Picture: Getty

The veteran DJ told London’s Southwark Crown Court that claims that he was a sex pest were “nonsensical”.

He also said he would have reported Jimmy Savile to police if he had known the television star was a paedophile, but denied the two had ever been close.

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The jury heard Travis had complained to police that he had lost “work, money and health” due to the allegations.

Travis, who is on trial accused of indecently assaulting ten women and sexually assaulting another, said: “I do not have a predatory nature with women, I have a cuddly nature.

“Maybe that’s what this is all about, but I am not predatory.

“If I really like somebody I will put my arm around them and I might give them a peck on the cheek, I even do that with men, to make them feel comfortable and welcome to the place.”

The 68-year-old said that although “people automatically assume” he must have got on with Savile because they were both in showbusiness, they never really had a conversation.

Answering questions from Stephen Vullo, for the defence, he said: “I, like other people, did think, ‘he seems to like young girls’. He was always surrounded by girls, and by that I mean girls of 16, 17, 18.

“But I don’t think that anyone knew what was going on as far as him being a paedophile.

“In all honesty, if I had known that Jimmy Savile was a paedophile I would have been the first to get him arrested, because it is the worst crime in the world as far as I am concerned.”

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Jurors heard he complained to police last September that he and his wife had “suffered badly” due to the allegations.

Junior prosecutor Teresa Hay said: “Mr Travis said that for ten months he had lost his money, work, his health, he has had back and knee operations and had suffered stress.

“Worse still, his wife had suffered breast cancer. She was through it now, but stress is bad for someone who is going through that.

“This was costing him his job, his living and everything he has built up over 50 years.”

Travis, who appeared under his birth name David Griffin, told the jury about his time as a rising radio DJ in the 1960s and how he took over BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show in 1978.

He said at its peak, the show had 15 million listeners. He explained how he had gone on to present Top of the Pops on television for “100 to 150 shows”.

Travis also told the court about his lifelong love of photography, saying he has been awarded a fellowship of the British Institute of Professional Photographers.

He said he had taken a series of photos of stars, including Lynsey de Paul and Joanna Lumley, where they were asked to tell him something about themselves they liked or disliked.

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Speaking of Lumley, he said: “She was playing this enigmatic character Purdy in The Avengers and she said she didn’t like her hair. I said, ‘come on let’s make a bald head’. There was some really hard work in that photograph making a cap that went on. She was brilliant, she absolutely loved the idea.”

Travis, from Buckinghamshire, denies 13 indecent assaults and one sexual assault, dating back to 1976 and the height of his fame.