The BBC has been plunged into crisis after crisis, as more allegations emerged after a newspaper reported claims one of its top presenters sent a young person money for explicit photos.
But there are questions for The Sun too, after the young person at the centre of the initial story rubbished the claims, made by their mother to the newspaper.
More people have since come forward to make accusations of their own concerning the same, yet-to-be-identified broadcaster.
Pressure is growing on the presenter to publicly identify himself, after other male BBC stars felt prompted to declare they were not involved.
The presenter’s former colleague has said the staffmember is “extremely angry” over the allegations emerging in The Sun.
The presenter “is convinced they’re trying to dig and find new dirt to harm this particular person’s reputation,” ex-BBC journalist Jon Sopel told The News Agents podcast.
Here is a full breakdown of the allegations centered on the BBC presenter.
A young person’s mother claims the BBC star paid her teen money for photos
On Friday, the Sun released a report detailing that a top BBC star had been paying a young person money in exchange for sexually explicit images.
The mother of the young person, who The Sun reported claims was 17 when the payments started, told the paper she saw a picture of the presenter on her child’s phone, in which she alleged the presenter was in his underwear “ready for my child to perform for him”.
She claimed she was told it was “a picture from some kind of video call,” and that the money funded her child’s “crack cocaine addiction.”
The Sun claimed payments were made over the space of three years, and the teenager’s family first complained to the BBC on May 19.
The young person later said via a lawyer that their mother’s claims were “rubbish” and it was “totally wrong and there was no truth to it”.
The parents have told The Sun they stood by their account.
Allegations by a second young person over abusive messages
On Tuesday afternoon, another young person told BBC News they had felt threatened by the presenter.
The individual, in their early 20s, first started speaking to the TV star on a dating app.
There was pressure to meet up, the BBC reported, but they never did.
When the young person – who has no connection to the first person at the centre of The Sun’s report – hinted online they might name the presenter, they were sent abusive, expletive-filled messages, they claimed.
They told the BBC they had been scared by the power the presenter held.
The threats made in the messages, seen and verified by BBC News, had frightened them, they added.
Claims from a third young person that the star broke lockdown rules to meet them
The Sun released another story on Tuesday evening about a person in their early 20s who claimed the presenter broke lockdown rules to meet them from a dating app.
The 23-year-old was sent what the Sun described as “quite pressurising” messages.
The newspaper claimed it has seen messages which suggested that as well as visiting the person’s home, the broadcaster also sent money and asked for a picture.
He was sent a semi-naked photograph, The Sun’s reporting alleged.
In the same story, The Sun also claimed the presenter travelled to meet the 23-year-old at their flat in February 2021, despite national lockdown restrictions.
The paper also reported an additional claim from another person saying the presenter “started a chat with a teen follower from his Instagram account — using love hearts and kisses in his messages”.
According to The Sun, the individual was 17 when the presenter contacted them “out of the blue”.
BBC News and ITV News have not been able to independently verify these claims.
Why is the BBC presenter not being named?
Media law experts have explained there was a big change to the way the media approached reporting after Sir Cliff Richard won a landmark privacy case against the BBC.
The legal battle centred on its coverage of a 2014 South Yorkshire Police raid on his home in Sunningdale, Berkshire, after he was falsely accused of historical sex offences.
Over the years, several subsequent cases have meant it has become much more difficult for the media to name people before they are charged with a criminal offence for fear of defamation and breaching privacy laws.
It is important to remember that, despite efforts, no media outlet outside of The Sun has reported having seen direct evidence of what the paper has alleged.
The BBC’s own culture and media editor Katie Razzall has said the story is a “series of claims and counter claims” which have yet to be verified, which deters publishers from identifying the BBC presenter.
She said on Wednesday: “There are these discrepancies and I should point out we don’t have access to the full facts.
“We have seen little, apart from the letter from the lawyer representing the young person involved to the BBC yesterday evening.
“We haven’t seen any of The Sun’s evidence, any of the bank statements the family say they have and that they have shown the newspaper.
“As it stands we haven’t been able to verify any of this.”
South Wales Police met with representatives of the BBC and Metropolitan Police on Monday to share information relating to the “welfare of an adult”, ITV News understands.
What has the BBC said so far?
The BBC said it treats any allegations “very seriously” and it has “processes in place to proactively deal with them.”
This week, the corporation unveiled its annual report, a regularly scheduled event to unveil the salaries of its top on-air talent, but the media briefing was dominated by focus on the ongoing presenter scandal.
During Tuesday’s briefing, the BBC’s director-general Tim Davie said he had ordered a review to “assess how some complaints are red flagged up the organisation.”
In a message to staff at the weekend, Mr Davie also said he is “wholly condemning the unsubstantiated rumours being made on the internet about some of our presenting talent” after several BBC presenters were forced to state publicly they were not the individual in question amid heavy speculation about the identity on social media.
In addition, the corporation has been asked to pause its internal investigation into the allegations “while the police scope future work” following a meeting with the Metropolitan Police.
BBC News said it contacted the presenter via his lawyer in relation to its claims reported on Tuesday that a second young person had received alleged threatening messages by the unnamed man, but had received no response to the allegations.