UK & World News

  • 4 February 2014, 23:56

Dave Lee Travis Was 'Tactile But Not Indecent'

Dave Lee Travis was a "tactile" and "touchy feely" man but had never been seen indecently assaulting women, a string of former BBC colleagues have told a court.

The former Radio 1 DJ, 68, was described in glowing terms by his former workmates, who painted a picture of a warm and friendly man as they gave evidence at his trial.

The broadcaster is accused of several indecent assaults over a period of more than 30 years on BBC employees, a fan, a hotel worker and journalists.

Former BBC technical operator Philip Hughes told Southwark Crown Court: "Personally I liked Dave. He was fun and a larger-than-life character, a nice bloke with a great sense of humour.

"We all liked working with him, he was part of the furniture of Radio 1 at the time."

When asked if he recalled anything inappropriate he had done he said "no" but added Travis could be "tactile" and said: "He's from the North, so am I, so more open to being warm, I put it down to that."

Mr Hughes then added to laughs from the court: "Tony Blackburn's not like that but he's from Bournemouth."

He also described the culture of pranks at the BBC saying how he "instigated them" and he was asked to explain what they were.

Mr Hughes said they were "sugar lump fights" or "putting a cup of water on the door ... that hit him fair and square in the face".

He described Travis as a "touchy-feely person" but didn't recall him ever doing anything untoward or inappropriate.

Another former producer Mik Wilkojc, who worked with Travis, said he was a "jovial, dependable, professional, punctual and reliable" adding that he was "tactile" and would give "bear hugs".

He also said he could not recall anything untoward Travis had done and said he "would bring in a flask of tea to share" with other staff.

Ex-BBC messenger Jon Kutner, who also worked with Travis, said he was "a true gentleman, normal, with no ego" also adding he was "tactile" and would give "a little cuddle or kiss people's hands".

He also said he could not recall Travis doing anything inappropriate during the time he worked at the BBC from 1979 to 1984.

Another former BBC producer Dave Atkey said of Travis: "He liked to hug people. He hugged me on numerous occasions. He liked to bear hug you."

Mr Atkey told defence barrister Stephen Vullo Travis "was always very generous, nice and warm" adding that he had never seen him do "anything untoward".

Under cross examination from Miranda Moore QC, he was asked about his statement in which he had said Travis "would not jiggle a woman's breasts unless he knew them".

He admitted telling police that and added: "That would be totally unlike David to do anything like that."

When asked if he had rumours about other Radio 1 DJs behaviour, Mr Atkey said "no" but when pressed he said he was aware of claims regarding Jimmy Savile.

He said: "I found him a sleazy character, not someone I particularly liked. There were no allegations about him then.

"There were rumours he liked young woman. He was sleazy, not a very nice person. That is my own personal opinion."

Under further questioning from Mr Vullo he said if he had been aware of conclusive evidence against Savile he would have "reported him".

Travis 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.

The trial continues.

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