Ex-Radio 1 DJ Liz Kershaw claims she was groped on air

Liz Kershaw at Radio 1 in 1988 Liz Kershaw said she felt "intimidated" by the "locker room" culture when she joined Radio 1

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Former Radio 1 DJ Liz Kershaw has claimed she was groped while broadcasting in the 1980s.

Ms Kershaw, now a presenter on BBC Radio 6 Music, said one Radio 1 presenter "routinely groped" her during her time at the station.

The BBC said it was "shocked" by the allegation and encouraged "anyone with information on such issues to also speak to the police".

She added everyone in Radio 1 "joked about Jimmy Savile and young girls".

Her comments came after BBC's new director general George Entwistle sent an email on Friday urging staff to "come forward" and talk to police if they have any information about alleged sexual abuses by the late presenter Sir Jimmy.

Ms Kershaw, 54, who joined Radio 1 in 1987, said the station had changed out of all recognition since the 1980s.

She described the atmosphere at Radio 1 at the time as "intimidating".

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme she remembered the unnamed presenter fondling her breasts while she was on live radio.

"I couldn't say anything, I couldn't even exclaim because I was broadcasting to the nation," she said.

"When I complained to somebody they were incredulous and said 'Don't you like it? Are you a lesbian?"'

Several women have alleged Sir Jimmy sexually assaulted them as teenagers, sometimes on BBC premises.

In the email to staff, Mr Entwistle added he was "appalled" by the allegations made in an ITV documentary about the former presenter.

No complaints were received by the BBC at the time of the alleged abuses.

Ms Kershaw, who arrived at Radio 1 around the time Sir Jimmy was leaving, said: "The rumours were there, the jokes were there. It was an open secret.

"Round Radio 1 everyone joked about Jimmy Savile and young girls. The main jokes were about his adventures on the Radio 1 Roadshow. It was massive then.

Sir Jimmy Savile The Met Police is investigating claims against Sir Jimmy Savile on a UK-wide basis

"It was rather like the X Factor going round the country then. Can you imagine the X Factor judges rounding up the contestants and asking for sexual favours after the show? I don't think so," she added.

The Lancashire-born Ms Kershaw, who joined from BBC local radio in West Yorkshire, said: "When I walked into Radio 1 it was a culture I have never encountered before.

"I have always said it was like walking into a rugby club locker room and it was very intimidating for a young woman."

Referring to Ms Kershaw's claims about her time at Radio 1, a BBC spokesman said: "We are shocked by allegations that anything of this sort could have been carried out by anyone working for the BBC.

"They are allegations which the police have the proper powers to investigate. We would encourage anyone with information on such issues to also speak to the police."

An earlier statement from the Metropolitan Police confirmed officers had met officials from the BBC who were "fully co-operating with detectives" in the wake of the claims made about Sir Jimmy.

"We are now collating information gathered from a range of sources across the UK and will continue contacting individuals who have made allegations in relation to the late Jimmy Savile over the coming weekend.

"We do not expect to have a clear picture of exactly how many women may have suffered abuse until next week and want to allow time for victims to reflect on what they may have experienced."

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