BBC explicit photos allegations: Stars hit back at social media smears

side by side images of BBC stars Rylan Clark and Gary Lineker who have denied that they are the presenter allegedly involved in a scandal involving sending money to a teen for sexual photos

Several top BBC stars including Rylan Clark, Gary Lineker and Jeremy Vine have taken to Twitter to scotch social media smears suggesting they are the high-profile presenter accused of paying a teen for sexual images.

On Friday (7 June), a story broke that an unnamed male BBC star has allegedly been taken off air while being investigated for providing more than £35,000 to a young person in return for sexually explicit images. 

The situation is said to have begun in 2020 when the young person was just 17, The Sun reported.

The mother of the alleged victim, who is now aged 20, claimed the money was used to fund a drug addiction which “destroyed” her child’s life. The Sun reported that the young person’s family complained to the BBC on 19 May and pleaded with them to make the man “stop sending the cash”. 

Rumours began swirling on social media about who the alleged perpetrator who allegedly solicited sexual images from a teen might be, resulting in several stars denying that they were involved. 

Ryan Clark, who has worked for the BBC since 2018 on shows like Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two and Ready Steady Cook, vehemently denied that he was the BBC presenter at the centre of the scandal in a statement on Twitter.

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“Not sure why my names floating about but re that story in The Sun – that ain’t me babe,” Clark wrote. “I’m currently filming a show in Italy for the BBC, so take my name out ya mouths.”

Soon afterwards, BBC Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine also responded to the story, telling his Twitter followers: “It certainly ain’t me”.

“Just to say I’m very much looking forward to hosting my radio show on Monday – whoever the ‘BBC presenter’ in the news is, I have the same message for you as Rylan did earlier: it certainly ain’t me,” the radio star wrote. 

Gary Lineker didn’t mention the allegations specifically, but the Match of the Day presenter posted on Twitter: “Hate to disappoint the haters, but it’s not me.”

Nicky Campbell, who is a BBC Radio 5 Live presenter, appeared to suggest he had contacted the police about being mentioned in connection with the allegations.

He tweeted a website screenshot featuring the Metropolitan Police logo with the words: “Thank you for contacting the Metropolitan Police Service to report your crime.”

In his tweet, he wrote: “I think it’s important to take a stand. There’s just too many of these people on social media. Thanks for your support friends.”

A photo of the outside of the BBC building as people enter and exit the building amid allegations of a new scandal in which an unnamed male BBC presenter solicited sexual pictures of a teen
The BBC said it treats any allegations ‘very seriously’. (Getty)

In response to the alleged sexual images scandal, the BBC said it treats any allegations “very seriously” and has “processes in place to proactively deal with them”. 

“As part of that, if we receive information that requires further investigation or examination we will take steps to do this,” the broadcaster said. “That includes actively attempting to speak to those who have contacted us in order to seek further detail and understanding of the situation.”

“If we get no reply to our attempts or receive no further contact that can limit our ability to progress things but it does not mean our enquiries stop.

“If, at any point, new information comes to light or is provided – including via newspapers – this will be acted upon appropriately, in line with internal processes.”

The BBC has confirmed that urgent talks are to take place today between the culture secretary Lucy Frazer and the BBC over the serious allegations.