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Dave Lee Travis: Model 'Comfortable' With DJ
A model and musician has told a court how she felt "comfortable" as she posed naked for former DJ Dave Lee Travis, after he asked to take a photograph of a tattoo on her back.
Elizabeth Birks told how she was performing at a charity concert with her husband when Travis, 68, tapped her on the shoulder, intrigued by a tattoo that covered her back.
The jury was not told what the design was but she explained how she was wearing a backless dress at the performance and the ex-BBC broadcaster had approached her to talk about it.
Mrs Birks said: "He asked me if he could take a photograph of it. He asked me if I would model and he gave me his business card," she said as she went onto explain how arrangements were made for her to visit Travis' home.
She told Southwark Crown Court that she went to the photo shoot with her husband and that Travis' wife, Marianne, was also at home and "after tea and cake" they went upstairs to his studio.
Asked by defence barrister Stephen Vullo if she "at any stage felt uncomfortable" she replied "no", adding that she was "completely naked" and Travis was "very, very professional, very polite."
Meanwhile another witness, former BBC producer Tim Blackmore MBE, described the atmosphere of Radio 1 at the time, explaining just how popular the DJs were - and how one went off with two female groupies while travelling to a gig.
Mr Blackmore said: "They were virtually at the same level as the music of the stars they were playing. They were high profile figures.
"I remember having to rescue Tony Blackburn from a crowd and driving Noel Edmonds away from people who wanted to tear every limb from his body."
Mr Blackmore was then asked by Mr Vullo if he had ever heard of any incidents of inappropriate behaviour involving Travis and he replied "none whatsoever".
When asked if he had heard of such behaviour by other DJs, and told not to mention names, Mr Blackmore said: "I was on a train heading for Blackpool with a DJ, not one of the two I have mentioned, somewhere in the north west a couple of girls spotted us in our compartment.
"They made suggestions to the person I was with and the end result was that when we got into Manchester he got off and said he would rejoin me in Blackpool later that day."
Former BBC producer and studio manager Kevin Howlett described he never heard incidents of inappropriate behaviour regarding Travis but he, like other witnesses recalled rumours involving disgraced dead DJ Jimmy Savile.
"There were rumours about Jimmy Savile's behaviour but one never saw Jimmy Savile in the building in the 1980s. He was never on anyone's radar," he said.
Asked about the rumours he added:"They were never substantiated at all really. I heard vague things about him that he was a bit of a ladies' man.
"I was not aware of anything that has since come out about him and underage girls. I just heard rumours. He was a bit of a shady character."
Mr Howlett added that he had met Savile twice in the 15 years he had worked at the BBC saying that he "would just come in once every two weeks for 30 minutes to record his links for his show."
He said that Savile's Sunday afternoon show was recorded weeks in advance and never broadcast live and he added: "I got the feeling he was a very strange man."
Under cross examination, Mr Howlett said he never recalled anyone "doing anything about the Jimmy Savile rumours."
Like other witnesses for the defence, Mr Howlett described Travis as a "tactile" person who was "very friendly and very warm".
The last witness for the defence was dancer Patricia "Dee Dee" Wilde who performed with 60s and 70s dance troupe Pan's People on Top of the Pops.
She said she had the "enviable position" of meeting pop stars and DJs, adding that it was a "wonderful job for a young girl to have".
Miss Wilde, now 67, smiled and waved to Travis as she walked into court dressed in black trousers, black jacket, red scarf and leopard print heels.
When asked by the defence if Pan's People was ever subject to male attention she replied:"Of course. We were six pretty young girls, we always had male attention but we were a formidable group, if anyone approached us we didn't like we just slapped them down.
"There was some flirtatious behaviour between the DJs and dancers but never with Dave."
Asked to describe Mr Travis she said he was a "lovely man" who the dancers "felt safe with, unlike other DJs" adding that "one in particular" made the troupe "feel uncomfortable".
Travis dressed in an olive green suit, shirt and tie, denies 13 charges of indecent assault between 1976 and 2003 and a charge of sexual assault in 2008 on 11 women in total.
He is on trial under his real name David Griffin and the case continues.
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