Travis: I have 'cuddly nature'

Travis: I have 'cuddly nature'

Former DJ Dave Lee Travis arrives at London's Southwark Crown Court, where he is accused of a series of indecent assaults and one sexual assault

Court sketch of Veteran DJ Dave Lee Travis giving evidence in his trial at Southwark Crown Court

First published in National News © by

Dave Lee Travis has told a jury that he is not a "sexual predator" but admitted that he has a "cuddly nature".

The veteran DJ told London's Southwark Crown Court that claims that he was a sex pest were "nonsensical".

He also said that he would have reported Jimmy Savile to police if he had known the television star was a paedophile, but denied the two had ever been close.

And the jury heard he had complained to police that he had lost "work, money and health" due to the allegations.

Travis, who is on trial accused of indecently assaulting 10 women and sexually assaulting another, said: "I do not have a predatory nature with women, I have a cuddly nature.

"Maybe that's what this is all about, but I am not predatory.

"If I really like somebody I will put my arm around them and I might give them a peck on the cheek, I even do that with men, to make them feel comfortable and welcome to the place."

The 68-year-old said that although "people automatically assume" he must have got on with Savile because they were both in showbusiness, they never really had a conversation.

Answering questions from Stephen Vullo, for the defence, he said: "I, like other people, did think 'he seems to like young girls'.

"He was always surrounded by girls and by that I mean girls of 16, 17, 18.

"But I don't think that anyone knew what was going on as far as him being a paedophile.

"In all honesty, if I had known that Jimmy Savile was a paedophile I would have been the first to get him arrested because it is the worst crime in the world as far as I am concerned."

Jurors heard he complained to police last September that he and his wife had "suffered badly" due to the allegations.

Junior prosecutor Teresa Hay said: "Mr Travis said that for 10 months he had lost his money, work, his health, he has had back and knee operations and had suffered stress.

"Worse still his wife had suffered breast cancer. She was through it now but stress is bad for someone who is going through that.

"This was costing him his job, his living and everything he has built up over 50 years.

"For him these allegations don't stand up."

Travis, who appeared under his birth name David Griffin, told the jury about his time as a rising radio DJ in the 1960s and how he took over the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show in 1978.

He said that at its peak the show had 15 million listeners and he explained how he had gone on to present Top of the Pops on television for "100 to 150 shows".

And he compared the nerves he had felt presenting the Eurovision song contest to those he felt giving evidence in his trial.

Travis also told the court about his lifelong love of photography saying he has been awarded a fellowship of the British Institute of Professional Photographers and had become an associate of the Royal Photographic Society.

He said he had taken a series of photographs designed to "halt people in their tracks" of stars including Lynsey de Paul, and Joanna Lumley where they were asked to tell him something about themselves they either liked particularly or disliked.

Speaking of Lumley he said: " I was totally shocked because she was playing this enigmatic character Purdy in the Avengers and she said she didn't like her hair. I said 'come on let's make a bald head'...the problem was that this was pre- digital there was some really hard work in that photograph making a cap that went on. She was brilliant, she absolutely loved the idea."

Travis, from Buckinghamshire, denies 13 indecent assaults and one sexual assault, dating back to 1976 and the height of his fame.

The alleged offences occurred when he was working as a BBC DJ, as a broadcaster with Classic Gold radio, while appearing on Top Of The Pops and when starring in panto.

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