A timeline of key events


The BBC has suspended a male member of staff following allegations an unnamed presenter paid a teenager tens of thousands of pounds for sexually explicit images.

But the young person at the centre of the controversy has said nothing inappropriate or unlawful happened.

Here is a timeline of how events unfolded based, in part, on information from the BBC and The Sun.

May 18th

The complainant, a family member, attended a BBC building, where they sought to make a complaint about the behaviour of a BBC presenter.

Before May 19th

Sources at The Sun newspaper said the stepfather of the teenager went to the police as he wanted to stop the payments.

The sources said the stepfather reported an inappropriate relationship but police said they could not help.

May 19th

The BBC’s Corporate Investigations Team (CIT) concluded that information provided to BBC Audience Services by the complainant did not include criminality but merited further investigation.

The BBC said the CIT made checks to verify the complainant’s identity and received no response to emails seeking additional information from them about the claims being made.

Director-general Tim Davie told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme that the corporation had “clear records of an interaction that lasted 29 minutes” when the initial complaint was made.

BBC director-general Tim Davie spoke on BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme (Jacob King/PA)

June 6th

A phone call is made by the CIT to a mobile number provided by the complainant which does not connect.

No additional attempts to contact the complainant were made after June 6th, however the case remained open throughout.

July 6th

The Sun newspaper informed the BBC via the press office of allegations concerning one of its presenters.

The corporation said the allegations were different to those made in May but were from the same family who made the initial claims.

A senior manager makes the presenter concerned aware of the allegations being outlined by The Sun.

It was agreed that the presenter would not be on air while the matter was being considered.

The Sun newspaper informed the BBC via the press office of allegations concerning one of its presenters (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

BBC executives, including the director-general, were made aware of the case.

The acting chairman was updated, and the board was regularly updated in the following days.

July 7th

Following The Sun’s contact, the CIT contacted the complainant again.

The BBC also made contact with the police with regard to the matter.

July 8th

The complainant began sending the BBC materials related to the complaint.

July 9th

The BBC issued an update to staff and the media and confirmed it had suspended the presenter.

July 10th

The BBC met with the Metropolitan Police to report the matter and discuss how to progress the investigation.

The Met requested the BBC pause its investigations into the allegations while they scoped future work.

The BBC reported on Tuesday that a second person felt threatened by messages they had received from the presenter (Belinda Jiao/PA)

July 11th

The BBC reported a second person felt threatened by messages they had received from the presenter.

According to the BBC, the person – aged in their early 20s – met the presenter on a dating app before their conversations moved to other platforms.

The presenter then revealed his identity and asked the young person not to tell anyone.

The young person later posted online alluding to having had contact with a BBC presenter and hinting they might name him.

The presenter then sent a number of “threatening messages” which the BBC said it had seen and confirmed came from a phone number belonging to the presenter.

The BBC said the young person felt “threatened” by the messages and “remain scared”.

BBC News said it had contacted the presenter via his lawyer but had received no response to the allegations.

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