BBC broadcaster maintains innocence

2013-02-07 19:16
Stuart Hall (Jon Super, AP)

Stuart Hall (Jon Super, AP)

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Preston - Veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall said on Thursday he had been through a "living nightmare" since being charged with rape and indecent assault dating back more than 40 years.

Hall, 83, vowed to fight the allegations and "regain my honour", after he appeared in court in northwest England for a preliminary hearing.

The presenter of the popular 1970s and 1980s TV show "It's A Knockout" and now a popular voice on BBC radio football commentaries said that without the support of his family he might have considered taking his own life.

"The last two months of my life have been a living nightmare. I have never gone through so much stress in my life."

Hall was charged by police last month with one count of rape allegedly committed in 1976 against a 22-year-old woman and 14 offences of indecent assault against 10 girls aged between 9 and 16, which allegedly took place between 1967 and 1986.

He questioned why the allegations had taken so long to come to light.

"These allegations are pernicious, callous, cruel and above all spurious," Hall told reporters.

"And may I just say I am not guilty and will be defending these accusations.

"Like a lot of other people in this country today I am wondering why it has taken 30 or 40 years for these allegations to surface."

Hall said he had been a healthy man before the allegations were made but was now suffering from a heart complaint "and I'll be very lucky to survive another couple of years".

"But I hope to survive those two years and regain my honour and reputation and more than ever, my life," he said.

Police have stressed that the charges against Hall are not part of the investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of children against the late BBC star Jimmy Savile.

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