Lee Travis a ‘big pussycat’ says Pan’s People star

Former Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis faces 14 charges. Picture: Getty
Former Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis faces 14 charges. Picture: Getty
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A FORMER dancer with Top Of The Pops troupe Pan’s People told a court yesterday that DJ Dave Lee Travis was a “big pussy- cat” and said she never witnessed him doing anything inappropriate on the show.

Patricia “Dee Dee” Wilde, who as part of Pan’s People was a regular on Top Of The Pops in the 1960s and 1970s, described him as an “absolute professional” and a “lovely man”.

Ms Wilde said that as young, female dancers they always had plenty of male attention, but would “slap down” anyone who approached them that they did not want to.

She said: “We met every single pop star going and all the DJs. It was just the most wonderful, wonderful job for a young girl to have.”

But she said they never had any problems with Travis.

She told Southwark Crown Court that, when she first met him, before she joined Top Of The Pops, she thought “what a lovely man he was”.

She said: “He is a big bear of a man. If he came up and gave you a cuddle you felt very safe with him, unlike other DJs. He is actually a big pussycat.”

Travis, from Buckinghamshire, is charged with 13 counts of indecent assault dating back to between 1976 and 2003, and one count of sexual assault.

He denies all the charges, and is appearing in court under his birth name David Griffin.

Ms Wilde said another big-name DJ made them feel very uncomfortable, adding: “It was very different in those days. Things that were acceptable then are not acceptable now.”

When quizzed about former Top Of The Pops host Jimmy Savile, she said: “I didn’t like Jimmy Savile at all, he was very creepy. As a woman, I didn’t feel comfortable in his presence.”

She said Savile would approach women quite close, “would pick up your hand and kiss it and lick it at the same time”.

She described Travis as a “consummate professional”.

“Dave was one of the most gentle men and the nicest of all the DJs that appeared,” she said.

She told the court “never once” did she hear complaints about Travis’s behaviour.

Any complaints of inappropriate conduct would have “spread like wildfire”, she said, such as a “DJ already mentioned” and a director/producer she refused to name.

Earlier the court heard that Travis was “very, very professional” when he took naked pictures of a female musician at his house. Elisabeth Birks said she met Travis at a charity event in London when he asked her if he could take photos of her after he saw that she had interesting tattoos.

Ms Birks told the court: “He was very friendly, he seemed lovely.”

Ms Birks said Travis asked if she would model for him, which she was happy to do, and she visited Travis’s home in 2010 with her husband, where the DJ introduced the couple to his wife.

Her husband went to watch films and Travis’s wife remained downstairs while Travis and Ms Birks went off to take photos together, she told the court.

Ms Birks said they started with her wearing a vest top and hot pants so Travis could take photos of her tattoos, but they eventually took pictures of her while she was naked.

Ms Birks said Travis was a “very, very professional photographer, very polite”.

Asked if he ever did anything inappropriate, Ms Birks said: “No, not at all.”

The trial continues.