In light of claims that a young person was paid by a BBC star for explicit images, Jeremy Vine has encouraged the star to come forward and be identified in the public eye.
They should “now come forward publicly,” according to Vine, a commentator on BBC Radio 2, because the organisation is “on its knees.”
When the BBC’s news division revealed on Tuesday that the male presenter had written abusive messages to a second person, who was in their early 20s, the problem at the company grew worse.
Several of the most well-known personalities from the BBC have come forward to deny they were the presenter, despite social media rumours to the contrary.
Vine tweeted on Tuesday: “I’m starting to think the BBC presenter involved in the scandal should now come forward publicly. These new allegations will result in yet more vitriol being thrown at perfectly innocent colleagues of his. And the BBC, which I’m sure he loves, is on its knees with this. But it is his decision and his alone.”
I’m starting to think the BBC Presenter involved in the scandal should now come forward publicly. These new allegations will result in yet more vitriol being thrown at perfectly innocent colleagues of his. And the BBC, which I’m sure he loves, is on its knees with this.
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) July 11, 2023
Following a claim in The Sun newspaper that one of the BBC’s top presenters had paid a teenager tens of thousands of pounds for sexually explicit images, the organisation on Sunday suspended a member of staff. Both the star and the young person went unnamed.
According to the Metropolitan Police, there is “no investigation at this time” into the claims, they said on Monday.
The BBC later on Monday carried a letter from the young person’s attorney asserting that The Sun’s allegation are untrue and that “nothing improper or illegal has occurred between our client and the BBC personality.”
A number of prominent people, including Vine and Piers Morgan, have asked for the unnamed BBC presenter to go public. As a result, Gary Lineker, Nicky Campbell, Rylan Clark, and Vine were all compelled to publicly deny that they are the person in question.
Jeremy Vine, who also delivers an afternoon show on BBC Radio 2, said the following on his Channel 5 show: “It’s his decision but he needs to come forward now, I think.
“I know his survival instinct has kicked in and I know he saw what happened to Phillip Schofield, but my God look at the damage to the BBC, look at the damage to his friends, to those falsely accused – and the longer he leaves it the worse it will be for him.”
Vine said he thought “very carefully” before posting a tweet on Tuesday night urging the unnamed presenter to reveal himself, adding: “I know the individual concerned. I am very worried about his state of mind and what this is doing to him.
“I haven’t spoken to him but I gather from somebody who has that he is described as angry and keen to play it long.
“Now to me that means that he wants to be anonymous for as long as possible, hoping that he can one day walk back into the building.”
Vine implied the unnamed BBC presenter would not be able to “remain anonymous for ever” while working for the station by saying the guy “will have to answer” the accusations made against him.
He added: “What’s happening is all this stuff is aggregating with no response.
“Now, he must have a defence, he must have one. Maybe he’s going to say it’s all a misunderstanding? Well I assume it.”
The 58-year-old, who said he has not spoken with the presenter, also said: “I had a situation: I was going to see Bruce Springsteen at the weekend and my wife said, ‘are you going to be safe there?’
“That’s how serious this thing is, and she gave me a baseball cap and said, ‘you better wear this’.”
Additionally, he backed the BBC, stating that it had “behaved with extraordinary decency” and that he understood that if the broadcaster was fired, the company might not be able to “name” him.
In response to the question of whether the accused believes they are above being held accountable for their claimed conduct, Vine said: “It may be more complicated than that, they may be in some sort of terrible crisis, unable to judge what’s right and what’s wrong any more, I don’t know.”
The BBC presenter allegedly broke lockdown rules to accommodate them during the pandemic in February 2021, reported a 23-year-old who was quoted on the top page of The Sun on Wednesday.
In addition, the presenter “started a chat with a teen follower from his Instagram account, using love hearts and kisses in his messages,” according to another claim made in the paper.
The person was 17 when the presenter “out of the blue” approached them, according to The Sun.
Separately, on Tuesday, BBC News reported that a person in their early 20s said the unknown individual sent them threatening messages.
BBC News reported that it had gotten in touch with the host through his attorney but had not heard back on the allegations.