Ex-BBC radio host found guilty of stalking Jeremy Vine and three other broadcasters

Vine called Belfield "the Jimmy Savile of trolling"

A former local BBC radio host has been found guilty of stalking four people including radio and TV broadcaster Jeremy Vine.

Ex-BBC Radio Leeds host Alex Belfield was found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court last week of four stalking charges [via BBC News].

Vine, who presents a weekday lunchtime programme on BBC Radio 2 and a weekday morning current affairs show on Channel 5, called Belfield “the Jimmy Savile of trolling” while giving evidence against him.

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The broadcaster was referring to the disgraced, late BBC presenter who was found posthumously to have abused hundreds of victims of abuse over his career.

Vine claimed that Belfield had waged a war of abuse against him via social media and via Belfield’s YouTube channel, ‘The Voice Of Reason’. Belfield has been suspended from the platform on more than one occasion.

Jeremy Vine
Jeremy Vine. CREDIT: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Vine added: “I have in the past had a physical stalker who followed me. That is a picnic compared to this guy. It’s like an avalanche of hatred that you get hit by.”

BBC Radio Northampton presenter Bernie Keith told the court he was left feeling suicidal by what he called Belfield’s “tsunami of hate”.

Belfield’s contract with BBC Radio Leeds ended in 2011. He decided to not give evidence at his trial, claiming previously that he was the victim of a “witch-hunt” and “pile-on” by other broadcasters.

He wasn’t accused of physically stalking the complainants but instead made YouTube videos about them, posted messages on social media, and sent emails to them or about them.
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The former presenter was granted bail and will be sentenced on September 16.

In other news, Mock The Week has been cancelled after 17 years on the BBC.

Presenter and comedian Dara O’Briain confirmed the news last week (August 2), joking that the UK “has finally run out of news”.

“The storylines were getting crazier and crazier – global pandemics, divorce from Europe, novelty short-term prime ministers,” he said in a statement. “It couldn’t go on.”

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