Paul Gambaccini arrested by Operation Yewtree police

The BBC broadcaster was arrested on suspicion of historical sexual offences as part of the Scotland Yard inquiry sparked by the Jimmy Savile scandal

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Veteran broadcaster and BBC Radio 2 DJ Paul Gambaccini has been arrested on suspicion of historical sexual offences as part of Scotland Yard’s Operation Yewtree investigations.

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Gambaccini, 64, was arrested at his south London home on Tuesday and questioned in police custody before being released on bail until January.

A spokesperson for the broadcaster said he denied all the allegations.

“Mr Gambaccini was interviewed by Operation Yewtree officers about historic allegations. He answered their questions and was co-operative,” said the spokesperson. “He denied all allegations.”

Following speculation as to the identity of the high-profile suspect earlier in the week, Gambaccini last night confirmed it was he who had been held by Metropolitan police.

“On Monday night, 28 October, I attended an excellent production of the Kander and Ebb musical, the Scottsboro Boys, at the Young Vic theatre,” said Gambaccini. “It concerned a group of black men in Alabama in the 1930s who were falsely accused of sexual offences. Within hours, I was arrested by Operation Yewtree. Nothing had changed, except this time there was no music.”

A statement from the BBC said Gambaccini would be taking a break from presenting duties, including on his regular Saturday evening Radio 2 show, America’s Greatest Hits, with tonight’s edition set to be replaced by a repeat airing of Johnny Walker Meets Art Garfunkel.

“Paul Gambaccini has decided that, in light of today’s media attention, he would rather not be on-air at present and we respect that decision,” said a Corporation spokesman.

“Therefore, Paul will not be presenting on BBC Radio in coming weeks and replacement programmes for the period will be announced soon.”

Gambaccini is the 15th person arrested under the auspices of Operation Yewtree, the Scotland Yard investigation set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal.

The allegations against Gambaccini fall in to the category of the investigation unconnected with those concerning Savile.

An unnamed 16th person, aged 74, has since been arrested.

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New York-born Gambaccini, also a prolific author and television presenter, was a Radio 1 DJ for 16 years, beginning in 1973. He is chair of the Radio 4 quiz Counterpoint, currently off air, and in 2005 was inducted into the Radio Academy Hall of Fame.