Channel 5 has removed several programmes featuring Rolf Harris from its schedules following the star’s reported arrest as part of Operation Yewtree, the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into historic allegations of sexual abuse initiated in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Episodes of Rolf’s Animal Clinic have been replaced in lunchtime and evening slots, while animated children’s series Olive the Ostrich, which Harris narrates, has been pulled from weekday early mornings.
A statement from the broadcaster said “While this legal matter involving Rolf Harris is on-going we have removed Olive the Ostrich and the repeats of Rolf's Animal Clinic from the Channel 5 schedule.”
Children's channel Nickelodeon, which has also cancelled planned screenings of Olive the Ostrich, said “Following reports of the arrest of Rolf Harris in connection with Operation Yewtree, we have decided to withdraw Olive the Ostrich from the Nick Jr schedules while the police investigation is ongoing.”
Australian entertainer Harris, 83, is best known for his art and musical skills and for fronting animal rescue shows. He was originally interviewed under caution by police in November but has since been arrested, according to a report in The Sun.
Harris is yet to comment on the allegations but it is understood he strongly denies any wrongdoing.