Travis had reputation among panto cast, court told

A THEATRE worker and two alleged victims of Dave Lee Travis have told a court that the veteran entertainer had a reputation among the cast and crew of a pantomime in which he appeared.

Fresh evidence was heard in Dave Lee Traviss trial. Picture: PA
Fresh evidence was heard in Dave Lee Traviss trial. Picture: PA

The theatre involved later decided that female workers should not be left alone with Travis during the show’s run, the court heard.

“There was general feeling that, if avoidable, female members of the cast shouldn’t be left alone in his company,” the male theatre worker said.

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“It wasn’t adopted as an official policy. It was known throughout the company.”

He was giving evidence as a colleague of his complained about being assaulted by Travis during the production of Aladdin in which the former DJ played “evil uncle” Abanazar.

The woman said her ordeal only came to an end when they were interrupted by children’s entertainers the Chuckle Brothers – Barry and Paul Elliott – who were also in the show.

She said she did not report what happened as she thought she could lose her job.

Later, a former BBC camerawoman said Travis groped her bottom during filming for Top Of The Pops.

She said she did not bother complaining as she had already gone to her bosses about sexual harassment she had suffered at the corporation and nothing had happened.

“It would have fallen on deaf ears,” she said.

The woman, who said she was 21 or 22 at the time of the incident, in the early 1980s, said that because she was concentrating on operating a camera and connected to around two metres of cable, she was trapped and unable to move when Travis suddenly appeared next to her.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, the woman said: “What I remember was I was kind of startled because I felt something on my bottom.”

Asked by prosecutor Miranda Moore QC what his hand did, the woman said: “It just squeezed my bottom”.

Ms Moore told jurors the woman’s evidence did not relate to any specific charge against Travis.

The woman alleged to have been assaulted during the production of Aladdin said she had gone into Travis’s dressing room, as she had often done before, when he assaulted her without warning.

She told jurors: “I was about to go and he was suddenly behind me.

“He’s a big chap and he engulfed me and he had his hand on the door above me. He put his other hand down the front of my jogging bottoms. He was touching me from top to bottom.”

The witness said that getting out of the door became her “complete focus” as she struggled to escape.

She went on: “It felt like a long time but I think it was only a matter of moments before I managed to get the door open. He was pushing it over the top of my head. He was a lot stronger than I am.”

She said that after opening the door slightly: “I heard someone say, ‘All right, Dave’, at which point he released me.”

The woman said she was then aware the voice belonged to one of the Chuckle Brothers who were walking along the corridor towards the dressing room.

The woman, who was 21 at the time of the incident in the early 1990s, said she rushed away and told a supervisor about what had happened.

“I was really obviously shaken up. Confused and scared and just in a bit of a state really.”

She said her colleague agreed that she would not have to go into Travis’s dressing room again for the rest of the show’s run and they discussed whether to take the issue further.

She told jurors: “We decided that because it was my first job in theatre, it wouldn’t be me who was going to be believed.

“I think I felt that even if someone believed me, which I didn’t, it still wouldn’t be me that kept my job.”

Ms Moore told jurors that the woman’s evidence did not relate to any specific charge against Travis.

The woman’s partner also took to the witness box and told the court she “cries her heart out” whenever Travis is mentioned.

The trial continues.