Sandi Toksvig: I was groped on air during the 1980s by a ‘famous individual’

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

Gay comedian Sandi Toksvig, one of the country’s most prominent radio and TV stars, has told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that she was groped while broadcasting in the early 1980s.

Ms Toksvig, who came out in 1994, said that when she reported the incident staff thought it was funny:

“In the eighties, which is when I started in radio and television things were very different and not to name any names, but I was once very unpleasantly groped while I was broadcasting by a famous individual who shall remain nameless.

“And when I told the staff afterwards what had happened everybody thought it was amusing”.

Ms Toksvig added: “There was a sort of ‘shrugged shoulder’ approach to the whole thing”.

When asked if the culture towards sexual harassment had changed completely, Ms Toksvig said:

“There is still a sort of sense of the very famous boys thinking they can get away with all sorts of things that are not necessarily pleasant”.

On Saturday, BBC 6 Music presenter Liz Kershaw revealed she was “routinely” groped while working at Radio 1 during the late 1980s and said she was asked if she was a “lesbian” by one individual when she tried to complain about the incident.

The allegations of harassment at the corporation stem from last week’s ITV1 documentary into the behaviour of the late Sir Jimmy Savile.

The veteran entertainer and former BBC star, who died in October 2011, has been accused of molesting children over a period of three decades – with incidents alleged to have taken place on BBC property.

Following Liz Kershaw’s remarks, a BBC spokesperson issued a statement saying: “We are shocked by allegations that anything of this sort could have been carried out by anyone working for the BBC.

“They are allegations which the police have the proper powers to investigate. We would encourage anyone with information on such issues to also speak to the police.”