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Tony Blackburn: 'Secret' BBC memos are false

Veteran DJ Tony Blackburn is planning to take legal action against the BBC. Credit: PA

Tony Blackburn has said so-called "secret" BBC memos from the 1970s - which are said to have led to his sacking - prove nothing.

The veteran DJ was fired because the corporation said his evidence to the Jimmy Savile inquiry "fell short" of the standards demanded.

In evidence, Blackburn denied ever being made aware by the BBC of a complaint made against him by a teenager in 1971.

The allegation, which he also denies, is that he "seduced" 15-year-old Claire McAlpine after a Top Of The Pops recording - a complaint which was subsequently withdrawn.

Miss McAlpine later took her own life but the Savile inquiry made no suggestion Blackburn was guilty of misconduct, nor did a coroner's inquest or the police.

Blackburn claims the BBC memos are "part of the whitewash and cover up which regrettably characterised the BBC's handling of these allegations."

Tony Blackburn in the 1970s. Credit: PA

In a new statement, he said: "Material from so-called 'secret BBC memos' from 1971 and 1972 has been published today as part of an attempt by the BBC to 'prove' that I was interviewed about the Claire McAlpine allegations 45 years ago.

"In fact there is no secret at all about these documents. I was made aware of them in 2012 and, again, when I voluntarily gave evidence to Dame Janet Smith's inquiry.

"The evidence which I gave her was with the full knowledge of their existence and contents.

"As I told her, and have repeated publicly since, the contents of these documents are untrue.

"It is simply not true that I was interviewed by anyone at the BBC in 1971 or 1972 about these matters.

"The memos are part of the whitewash and cover-up which regrettably characterised the BBC's handling of these allegations.

"There is no possible reason for me to do anything other than tell the truth about these matters since there was never any inappropriate behaviour between myself and Claire McAlpine and the investigations that the BBC says took place all supposedly led to my exoneration.

"The complaint was withdrawn shortly after it was made and subsequent coroner's and police enquiries also accepted there was no substance to it.

"Scandalously, the BBC has placed me in the ridiculous position of being sacked for telling the truth about an investigation which it failed to carry out properly, if at all, into a complaint made against me 45 years ago - a complaint which was totally without any basis in truth.

"In linking my dismissal to the Dame Janet Smith Report, the BBC has, as well as taking away the livelihood I loved, caused my good name to be tarnished."

The 73-year-old, who had worked for the BBC for decades, is now planning to take legal action against them.

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