Paul Gambaccini pulls out of awards show following Operation Yewtree arrest

Radio DJ was due to host Music Industry Trusts Awards in London tonight (November 4)

Radio DJ Paul Gambaccini has pulled out of an awards show he was due to present this evening following his arrest on historical sexual offences as part of Operation Yewtree.

Gambaccini was due to present the Music Industry Trusts Awards in London tonight (November 4) where Annie Lennox will receive a lifetime achievement award. However, Music Week reports that he will no longer host the ceremony following his recent arrest on historical sexual offences as part of the Operation Yewtree investigation.

A spokesperson for the presenter said: “I can confirm he has withdrawn from hosting the MITs.” Jo Whiley will now present the awards in his place.

As well as pulling out of the Music Industry Trust Awards, Gambaccini will not host his BBC Radio 2 show for “the coming weeks,” according to BBC News.

Gambaccini was arrested at his south London home early on Tuesday (October 29) and questioned in police custody, before being released on bail until January. The 64 year-old DJ denies the allegations.

“Paul Gambaccini has decided that, in light of today’s media attention, he would rather not be on-air at present and we respect that decision,” a BBC spokesperson said. “Therefore, Paul will not be presenting on BBC Radio in coming weeks and replacement programmes for the period will be announced soon.”

A statement released by Gambaccini himself, as published in The Telegraph, denies the allegations and compares his arrest to that of the Scottsboro Boys, a group of black teenagers falsely accused of rape in the 1930s. He said: “On Monday night, 28 October, I attended an excellent production of the Kander and Ebb musical, the Scottsboro Boys, at the Young Vic theatre. It concerned a group of black men in Alabama in the 1930s who were falsely accused of sexual offences. Within hours, I was arrested by Operation Yewtree. Nothing had changed, except this time there was no music.”

Meanwhile, Gambaccini’s spokesman said: “Mr Gambaccini was interviewed by Operation Yewtree officers about historic allegations. He answered their questions and was co-operative. He denied all allegations.”

Gambaccini is the 15th person to be held under Operation Yewtree, launched in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.