Stuart Hall denies rape charges

Stuart Hall Photo: PA

Veteran broadcaster Stuart Hall has pleaded not guilty to raping two young girls.

Hall, 84, is accused of committing a string of historic sexual offences against his alleged victims.

He will go on trial at Preston Crown Court on May 6 over the allegations.

Hall, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, is alleged to have committed seven counts of rape against one complainant between 1976 and 1978 in Manchester. Five of the rapes are said to have taken place when she was aged under 16.

Hall is also accused of two counts of indecent assault against the same complainant within the same period.

In addition, he is charged with eight counts of rape against a second alleged victim between 1976 and 1981, at various locations in Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

One of those alleged rapes is said to have taken place when the complainant was aged under 13.

Hall is also accused of three counts of indecent assault against the same alleged victim.

Answering to his full name of James Stuart Hall, the defendant entered not guilty pleas to each of the 20 counts. He answered the clerk firmly with each plea as he stood in the dock with his hands clasped in front of him.

The former It's A Knockout presenter was a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century, and his eccentric and erudite football match summaries made him a cult figure on BBC Radio 5 Live.

The trial is estimated to last seven days.