Stuart Hall: the newspapers and the victims speak out on the BBC’s pet pervert
HOW do the newspapers report on Stuart Hall, the TV and radion presenter who sexually abused 13 children – the youngest was nine?
What the BBC new?
Linda McDougall, a producer at BBC Manchester in the late Sixties and Seventies, says Hall put his hands “all over you and all over anyone female who came in”. She claims Hall had his own room at the BBC where he entertained “lady friends”. She says “everyone knew” about his “amazing set up”. Women were “not coming in for cups of tea”.
Alan Collins, a solicitor who is representing Jimmy Savile child abuse victims, said:
“The BBC has questions to answer, I would be concerned that this turning a blind eye is part of a pattern. These people are given a veneer of respectability that gives them the ability to get away with things.”
Someone sent a letter to the paper’s Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. It claims to be from one of Stuart Hall’s victims.
I write to tell you that Stuart Hall is another television presenter who you can investigate. I speak from personal experience; he groomed and then sexually exploited me when I was a young teenager in the 1970s.
As he did it to me so I would imagine that he did it to others.
Stuart was a presenter on Look North, a local BBC news programme. He was invited by the head of my school to come and present the prizes one year, and presented to me, among others. He exchanged a few words with me on the stage, at a microphone. I took my prize and left the hall. A while later a message came from the head teacher; would I go back to the hall, as Stuart had asked to see me. He had told the head that he was impressed by me and wondered if I would have permission to visit the local BBC studios; he thought that a girl like me could have a future in television journalism. My head teacher was naïve enough to agree, after consulting with my mother. I, of course, was thrilled and flattered.
And that is how it starts. What drew him to me? Later he told me it was my voice and manner. (I was a shy, intelligent, studious, pretty girl, destined for university and a professional career.) I was young for my years and easy meat for a man like him. To have a man of my father’s age take a benevolent interest in me seemed wonderful.
Why haven’t I written about this before? For several reasons – the first of which is shame. A girl who is groomed and then sexually exploited does not consider herself raped. Stuart made me complicit in my own abuse. He seemed kind and interested in me, while sexually exploiting a girl more than 25 years younger than he. It’s a story as old as the hills; girls go back and then feel themselves to be as guilty as the man.
As old as the hills, indeed. So. Who’s abusing children now?
Why didn’t I report it years ago? I was afraid for my reputation, my family and career. Stuart was well known and popular, particularly in that sport bloke-ish milieu which is not thoughtful about sexual predation. He appeared protected by being well known and well connected. I saw what the gutter press was like, and didn’t want strangers going through my bins cross-questioning and photographing my family and friends, demonising me, traumatising my family…
Stuart told me laughingly that there were a number of middle-aged women locally who gave him filthy looks when they saw him as they knew the things he did, but they weren’t prepared (as my mother and I later weren’t) to go public with their knowledge.
That’s Stuart Hall OBE.
The Simple Facts
The simple facts in blunter terms
He’s the “Beeb’s Hall”. The Daily Star is owned by Channel 5 boss Richard Desmond. Is it all the BBC’s problem?
Later in his career, Hall also worked for ITV.
The Police & Press Fredom
The Times moves the story to fit its agenda:
Lancashire Constabulary said yesterday that publicity surrounding the initial arrest of the 83-year-old broadcaster led to the majority of his sexual assault victims coming forward. It prompted renewed criticism of plans by the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) to ban forces from revealing the names of people who have been arrested…Lawyers told The Times that the naming of arrested suspects was essential not only for open justice, but because it could result in victims or witnesses coming forward.
Fresh concerns over policing secrecy were voiced after a force refused to name a retired officer who was charged with stealing £113,000 from its former headquarters. Warwickshire Police was forced to climb down after the Crown Prosecution Service revealed that the subject of the allegations was Paul Greaves, 54. The force had cited the Leveson inquiry as a reason for its lack of transparency.
Lawyers for Hall had also cited the Leveson report. After his arrest last December, a statement from his solicitor said: “Stuart Hall is innocent of these charges. It is a matter of concern that in the week following publication of the Leveson report there appears to have been systematic, measured leaks to the media which have given a misleading impression of what this case is about.”
But a spokeswoman for Lancashire Constabulary acknowledged that the publicity led to other victims of Hall coming forward and providing crucial corroboration.
Susan Harrison: “Susan Harrison said she was 16 when the It’s a Knockout presenter lured her to BBC premises on the false pretext of helping her record a song. He attacked her in his car while driving her home.”
Kim Wright “was 17 when Hall fondled her breasts at a show in Blackpool”.
Susan Melville met Stuart Hall after he was hired for her school prizegiving.
The TV personality who was trusted by her family lured her to BBC premises on a pretext and molested her while driving her home after plying her with alcohol. Susan, Hall’s first known victim, said she was riddled with guilt for not making an immediate complaint about the TV star as he went on to abuse numerous other young girls after her. She said that when she returned home in tears her father told her: ‘He is famous and we are nobody. Nobody is going to believe you.’..
Back in the car she felt ‘incredibly nervous’ but Hall tried to relax her by making light conversation about his daughter, Francesca, who was seven at the time.
‘All of a sudden he brought his left hand over my right leg and then moved his hand up my skirt and started touching me,’ said Mrs Harrison. ‘I was so shocked and terrified. I couldn’t do anything as I had frozen – it went on for a couple of minutes. ‘But then I quickly moved to the left of the car away from him, squashing my legs together and just sort of curling away from him. I developed a nervous cough and he kept saying, “Wouldn’t you like me to stop the car and rub your chest with something because it’s quite bad, that cough, isn’t it?” But realising the sort of things he was doing now I said “No” and just kept away from him. I was panicking that he wasn’t going to take me home.
But They’re All Old
Why are all the accused so old? Why do they all work in showbiz? Sure, Operation Yewtree is an investigation into historial sex abuse. The accused are bound to be a certain age. But why are there no lawyers, peers, politicians, sportsmen and others in the dock? Why is it just showbiz? Is it all for show, the police doing a spot of PR?
(Apologies for the poor image quality.)