UK & World News
Stuart Hall Vows To Fight 'Callous' Sex Charges
Veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall has vowed to fight sex offence charges and "regain my reputation".
He said he had been through a "living nightmare" and questioned why the allegations had taken so long to surface.
The 83-year-old was speaking after a brief appearance at Preston Magistrates Court.
He told reporters: "The allegations are pernicious and callous and cruel and, above all, spurious. I'm not guilty and I will be defending (myself against) the accusations.
"Like a lot of other people in this country today, I'm wondering why it's taken 30 and 40 years for the allegations to surface.
"The last two months of my life have been a living nightmare. I've never gone through so much stress in my life and I'm finding it difficult to sustain.
"Fortunately I have a very loving family and they're very supportive and I think but for their love I might have been constrained to take my own life.
"But they've encouraged me to fight on and fight the charges, regain my reputation and good name, whatever I've represented to this country down the years.
"I was a healthy 83-year-old but I'm now incubating a heart complaint and I'll be very lucky to survive another couple of years.
"But I hope to survive those two years and regain my honour and reputation and more than ever, my life."
Hall faces one charge of raping a 22-year-old woman in 1976 and a further 14 charges of indecently assaulting 10 girls aged nine to 16 between 1967 and 1986.
Hall, of Prestbury Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire, appeared at the same court last month to face separate charges of historic sex offences.
He pleaded not guilty on January 7 to three indecent assault charges dating between 1974 and 1984.
At today's hearing, he spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address and was bailed to appear at Preston Crown Court on March 1.
Hall has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century and was last year awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours.
His eccentric and erudite football match summaries have made him a cult figure on BBC Radio 5 Live.