Tony Blackburn’s broadcasting colleagues have spoken out to defend the star after he was sacked from the BBC.
The veteran DJ revealed last night how he was in talks with lawyers as he planned legal action against over the loss of contracts worth £200,000 a year.
Writing on Twitter, journalist Piers Morgan said: “Few nicer guys in show-business than @tonyblackburn. BBC treatment of him after 50yrs of brilliant broadcasting is outrageous.”
Presenter Eamonn Holmes referred to Jeremy Clarkson yesterday settling a racial discrimination and personal injury lawsuit brought by a former Top Gear producer.
He wrote on Twitter: “So @tonyblackburn MIGHT have and is taken off air. @JeremyClarkson DID Assault & Racism – his progs continue to be shown on the BBC. ?????”
Radio personality Tony this morning thanked fans and broadcasting colleagues after an “overwhelming” level of support.
He said: “Good morning,I just want to say thanks so much for your overwhelming support it means a lot to me. xxx
“I won’t be tweeting too much but I must say a big thanks for all the support from my fellow broadcasters, it is very kind of you.”
Sources close to the veteran DJ said he was the victim of a “real stitch-up”.
Presenter Danny Wallace wrote on Twitter: “I know @tonyblackburn, and as far as I can tell, every bone in his body is decent.”
Broadcaster Iain Lee wrote: “@tonyblackburn is one of the most decent and kind people I have ever met. Ever.”
LBC presenter Iain Dale added: “Sometimes the BBC disgusts me. They have sacked broadcasting legend @tonyblackburn from all his shows. Shame on them “
A new report backs the BBC’s claim that he was quizzed over a woman’s allegations.
But Blackburn said the interviews in 1971 never took place and he plans to sue the BBC.
Lawyers will be looking at taking action over “wrongful termination of contracts” and a libel law expert may be lined up to examine all aspects of the allegations.
In his statement, Blackburn, 73, said: “I am now left with no choice but to take legal action against the BBC. They have taken away a career I love and I will not allow them to destroy my reputation.”
Corporation bosses are alleged to have failed to properly interview the DJ after he was accused of a sexual encounter with Top of the Pops dancer Claire McAlpine.
The claims will be made public today in Dame Janet Smith’s review of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Blackburn last night issued an extraordinary statement which said: “This week, two days before the publication of the Dame Janet Smith Report, the BBC informed me that all relationships I had with them were being terminated with immediate effect.
“I am told that the decision was taken, personally, by the Director General. Quite naturally, I am devastated.
“The reasons for the BBC taking this decision are that my evidence to Dame Janet Smith shows, I believe, that a cover up took place – one that I had no knowledge of. This goes against what the BBC believe.”
He goes on: “Dame Janet’s report makes no suggestion that I was guilty 45 years ago of any misconduct whatsoever with this girl. Nor did a coroner’s inquest into her death or a subsequent police inquiry.
“The BBC have made clear that they are not terminating my relationship with them because of any misconduct.
“They are destroying my career and reputation because my version of events does not tally with theirs.
“I was not guilty of any inappropriate conduct; my lawyers will take immediate action against anyone suggesting I was.”
And in a swipe at bosses, he added: “Sadly what is happening to me seems to be entirely in keeping with the past BBC culture of whitewash and cover-up.
“In 1967, I proudly opened Radio 1 for the BBC. Over the past 49 years I have enjoyed my time working for them immensely and I am grateful to my millions of listeners for their continued support over the decades.
“Sadly, despite being aware of my evidence for many months, if not years, the BBC have decided to make me a scapegoat and have taken away any future opportunity I have to broadcast for them.
“Naturally, I am now left with no choice but to take legal action against the BBC.
“They have taken away a career I love and I will not allow them to destroy my reputation.”
Source: The Mirror