Noel Clarke: BBC shocked by allegations of harassment on Doctor Who set

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Noel Clarke in Doctor Who
Image caption,
Clarke rose to fame by playing Mickey Smith in Doctor Who from 2005-10

The BBC has said it is "shocked" to hear allegations by several women that actor Noel Clarke sexually harassed them on the set of Doctor Who.

Mr Clarke played Mickey Smith in the BBC drama from 2005 to 2010.

The Guardian has quoted five women, including an unnamed actress, who it says have claimed that he touched them inappropriately or made sexual remarks.

He denied all the claims. He has previously "vehemently" denied sexual misconduct or criminal wrongdoing.

The latest reports come a week after 20 women told The Guardian that Mr Clarke, 45, had harassed or bullied them during his career as a TV and film actor, writer, director and producer.

Last week, he said he understood that "some of my actions have affected people in ways I did not intend or realise" and said he was "deeply sorry" to those people. But he denied that his actions constituted sexual misconduct or criminal wrongdoing.

Image caption,
Noel Clarke in a promotional photo for the Doctor Who 2005 Christmas special

He told The Guardian that he strongly denied the latest allegations. His representatives have not responded to a BBC request for comment.

A BBC spokesman said: "The BBC is against all forms of inappropriate behaviour and we're shocked to hear of these allegations.

"To be absolutely clear, we will investigate any specific allegations made by individuals to the BBC - and if anyone has been subjected to or witnessed inappropriate behaviour of any kind we would encourage them to raise it with us directly.

"We have a zero tolerance approach and robust processes are in place - which are regularly reviewed and updated to reflect best practice - to ensure any complaints or concerns are handled with the utmost seriousness and care."

Last week, Sky "halted" its work with Mr Clarke, including on the fourth series of crime drama Bulletproof, while ITV dropped the final episode of his drama Viewpoint from its broadcast schedules. The BBC said it would "not be progressing any projects with Noel Clarke at this time".

Bafta has suspended his membership, weeks after giving him an outstanding contribution award, and the Metropolitan Police have said they have received allegations of sexual offences from a third party.

Image caption,
John Barrowman played Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who

Meanwhile on Friday, Doctor Who and Torchwood actor John Barrowman was said by The Guardian to have repeatedly exposed himself on set. It said that was regarded as "larking about" and "joking" rather than sexually predatory behaviour.

A video of Mr Clarke joking about Mr Barrowman's behaviour at a 2015 sci-fi convention resurfaced and went viral last week.

In 2008, Mr Barrowman apologised for exposing his genitals during a live BBC Radio 1 broadcast. At the time, he said he "was joining in the light-hearted and fun banter of the show and went too far".

In a new statement to The Guardian, he said his "high-spirited behaviour" was "only ever intended in good humour to entertain colleagues on set and backstage".

He added: "With the benefit of hindsight, I understand that upset may have been caused by my exuberant behaviour and I have apologised for this previously. Since my apology in November 2008, my understanding and behaviour have also changed."

Mr Barrowman added that he was never made aware of any allegations against Mr Clarke.

Mr Barrowman has not responded to a BBC request for further comment.