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  1. ITV Report

Cliff Richard to sue the BBC and police for £1 million

Sir Cliff was left physically unwell when the allegations surfaced Credit: PA

Sir Cliff Richard is to sue the BBC and South Yorkshire Police for £1 million after a police raid on his home was shown on television.

The singer's Berkshire apartment was raided by officers in August 2014 over allegations of historic sex offences - something that was broadcast by the BBC.

Sir Cliff has now launched legal actions almost two years later, alleging there was collusion between the broadcaster and force.

I confirm that I have instructed my lawyers to make formal legal complaints to South Yorkshire Police and the BBC so that in the absence of satisfactory answers a Court will determine whether or not their behaviour was justified and proportionate.

It is important not only for me personally but much more widely.

My life was effectively turned upside down and my reputation, worldwide, was unnecessarily damaged.

I would not want the same to happen to others whether in the public eye or not.

Whilst the police of course need to properly investigate allegations made to them, it is clear to me that questions need to be answered by both the police and the BBC about their initial handling of my matter, which has rightly been condemned from so many quarters, including the Home Affairs Select Committee, the broader Press, and, even the Police themselves. I chose not to comment during the active investigation for obvious reasons, but having suffered the experience that I have, I firmly believe that privacy should be respected and that police guidelines are there to be followed.

That means that save in exceptional circumstances people should never be named unless and until they are charged.

As everybody has accepted there were no such "exceptional circumstances" in my case.

– A statement from Sir Cliff Richard

While the 75-year-old was named publicly as part of the probe, he has never been arrested or charged.

The case was eventually dismissed by the Crown Prosecution Service on grounds of insufficient evidence. Both the BBC and South Yorkshire Police have since apologised to the star.

Sir Cliff described the event as a "gross intrusion" into his privacy which was a result of "illegal collusion", while the fallout damaged his reputation and left him physically unwell.

According to the Daily Mail, the £1 million claim reflects damage he suffered personally and commercially as a result of the episode.