Tony Blackburn, dead Savile and the death of BBC dancer Claire McAlpine
In front-page news billed as a”World Exclusive”, the Mirror brings news of Tony Blackburn, the BBC radio DJ of no little vintage. “BBC Axe Sex Probe DJ Tony Blackburn,” announces the dire headline, one seemingly written by an SEO expert for whom English is not their fist language. The headline can be unpacked in the first paragraph:
“DJ Tony Blackburn has been sacked by the BBC is a row about a sex abuse probe.”
Blackburn says he was never “quizzed” in 1971 over a “woman’s allegations” he’d seduced a teenager. The BBC’s report out today says he was. He says, “They are destroying my career and reputation because my version of event does not tally with theirs.”
The story continues over page 4 and 5, “Beeb bosses covered up ‘DJ seduced girl’ claims,” chimes the Mirror. The girl was 15-year-old Claire McAlpine. We’ve reported on her before. In 2012, the Press linked her death to the then Sir Jimmy Savile, who after death became ‘Jimmy The Beast”.
Last month the Daily Mail had more:
“Claire McAlpine, 15, killed herself after being abused by an unnamed DJ on the show [Top of the Pops] on 1971.”
On the same day the Sun led with the Jimmy Savile Report, a review by Dame Janet Smith, who concluded that the BBC “HID” news that Savile had “seduced” a 15-year-old dancer on BBC TV’s Top of The Pops music show. The paper adds: “Clair [sic] McAlpine killed herself weeks after the alleged sexual encounter.”
Back then Jimmy did it.
Now the torchlight falls on Blackburn’s 73-year-old face. The BBC has sacked him. He says he never seduced McAlpine. He says he’s a “scapegoat”.
Looking at the media’s scattergun reporting on the case of Miss McAlpine reveals a story laced with agendas.
PS: On 7th April 1971 the Daily Express had Jimmy Savile news (via Rabbitaway):
Finally two more cuttings:
Such are the facts.