Tony Blackburn returns to BBC after being sacked over evidence to sexual

first_imgBlackburn opening the BBC’s pop music station Radio One in the 1960sCredit:Getty Images “Tony Blackburn for his part stands by his statements to Dame Janet Smith but recognises that the BBC considered a period off air was appropriate.”In a statement released by the BBC, Blackburn said: “I do not seek to criticise the BBC for decisions it has made in the past.”I have had a difficult year personally, but I’m pleased to be returning to the BBC and can’t wait to get behind the mic again.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A BBC spokesman said: “We are pleased to announce Tony Blackburn’s return to the BBC in January 2017.”He will present an hour-long show on BBC Radio 2 on Fridays at 7pm, and will also return to local radio.”The BBC stands by the findings of Dame Janet Smith and the decision it made to take Tony Blackburn off air at the start of this year based on Dame Janet’s Smith’s preference for the documentary evidence relating to meetings that took place over Tony Blackburn’s statements. Tony Blackburn, the veteran broadcaster, is to return to the BBC eight months after he was sacked over evidence he gave to the review into sexual abuse at the Corporation.The BBC said it “stands by the findings of Dame Janet Smith” and its decision to take Blackburn off air.Blackburn, who will host a new show on BBC Radio 2 from January, said he “can’t wait to get behind the mic again” and does “not seek to criticise the BBC for decisions it has made in the past”.center_img Blackburn opening the BBC's pop music station Radio One Thank you for all your lovely messages xx— Tony Blackburn (@tonyblackburn) October 19, 2016 In February, the BBC director-general said Blackburn was sacked because of inconsistencies in statements he made relating to claims that he had seduced a 15-year-old girl in 1971.Dame Janet Smith concluded that the veteran DJ had been questioned by Bill Cotton, a senior BBC executive, and Sir Brian Neill QC, a lawyer who oversaw an inquiry into Top of the Pops, over allegations that he invited teenager Claire McAlpine back to his flat and seduced her.Blackburn, 73, who strenuously denies the allegations, told Dame Janet that he had not been quizzed by either man.But he later told the retired judge, via his solicitor, that he accepted that she “might well prefer” documentary evidence that showed that the questioning had taken place.last_img

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