BBC reporter did not reveal Sir Cliff raid-Yewtree connection, court told

Sir Cliff Richard arrives for his court case (Kirsty O'Connor/PA) Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The BBC journalist who reported on a police search of Sir Cliff Richard’s home did not tell his editor the source of his story was from within Operation Yewtree, the High Court heard.

The 77-year-old entertainer is claiming “substantial” damages for what he says was a “very serious invasion” of his privacy when the raid on his home was broadcast in 2014.

The broadcasts included footage taken from a helicopter flown above the singer’s home on a private estate in Sunningdale, Berkshire.

The BBC contends there was a “legitimate public interest” in its coverage and is vigorously defending the case.

The court previously heard reporter Dan Johnson met with a South Yorkshire Police detective and the force’s head of communications after receiving a “tip-off” from another source that Sir Cliff was being investigated over an allegation of sexual assault.

During cross examination on Monday Declan Wilson, the BBC’s north of England bureau editor at the time, said Mr Johnson gave him some information about his confidential source.

However, he said Mr Johnson did not mention that the source was connected with Operation Yewtree or the Metropolitan Police.

The court also heard another editor quoted some of the lyrics to Sir Cliff’s hit Congratulations in an e-mail to Mr Wilson following the tip-off.

Justin Rushbrooke QC, for the singer, said: “You were both pretty excited about this, weren’t you?”

Mr Wilson replied: “It was a massive story.”

Sir Cliff was accused of molesting a teenager at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane football stadium during a rally led by the Evangelical preacher Billy Graham in the 1980s.

But no charges were brought against the singer after an investigation lasting almost two years.

South Yorkshire Police has already paid £400,000 in damages to the singer.

The hearing is expected to conclude next week.