Entertainment & Arts

Sandi Toksvig claims she was groped while broadcasting

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionSandi Toksvig: "When I told the staff that I had been groped, everybody found it amusing"

Comedian Sandi Toksvig says she was groped by a "famous individual" while she was broadcasting in the 1980s.

Toksvig, 54, said when she told staff, "everybody thought it was amusing".

The comments follow claims by BBC Radio 6 Music DJ Liz Kershaw that she was "routinely groped" during her time at Radio 1 in the 1980s.

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

Toksvig's broadcasting career began in the 1980s when she worked largely on ITV and Channel Four.

She told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC One that "things were very different" in the industry then.

"I was once very unpleasantly groped while I was broadcasting by a famous individual who shall remain nameless.

"When I told the staff afterwards what had happened everybody thought it was amusing. There was a shrugged shoulder approach to the whole thing. It wasn't something anybody talked about."

Toksvig, who now presents several programmes on BBC Radio 4, said the allegations of inappropriate behaviour at the BBC "did not surprise me at all".

"I had heard those stories when I was working at the BBC," she added.

The BBC's new director general George Entwistle has urged staff to "come forward" and talk to police if they have any information about alleged sexual abuses by the late presenter Sir Jimmy.

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

She described the atmosphere at the time as "intimidating" and said the station had changed out of all recognition since the 1980s.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption'Round Radio 1 everybody joked about Jimmy Savile and young girls' says Liz Kershaw, who presented there in the 1980s

Speaking on 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.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Prime Minister David Cameron said the allegations were "truly shocking".

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

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

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 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."

More on this story