Just when we thought the BBC sex crimes scandal could get no worse Newsnight have exposed another major BBC star. The most startling claim of abuse in the programme appeared to come from a female known only as Soo; who claimed to have been abused by the same person since 1957.
Soo claimed that the veteran child entertainer Sooty had targeted both her and her work colleague Sweep; and that when she spoke up bosses pretended they could not hear her. She claims Sweep too was ignored, "all he could do was squeak after the abuse had taken place, Nobody took him seriously". Soo went on, "Sooty used to corner me in the dressing room and just use me for his own pleasure as if I was just a puppet!"
Soo even hinted that something darker might have been happening at the BBC; "You do know why Blue Peter was called Blue Peter don't you?" she asked. When asked if she was implicating Shep she told the reporter he was, "barking up the wrong tree".
Panorama spoke to former BBC staff who confirmed that rumours about Sooty's behaviour were rife, but little was done. "Have you not wondered why he has never been seen from the waist down? He is hung like a donkey, he calls it his magic wand because he could do whatever he liked with it and then make the incident disappear", claimed an ex-employee of The Sooty Show.
Sweep explained through a translator why he never took action. "People could not understand me anyway; but I was a junior, was I supposed to get up there and say the leading man a pervert? Sooty is a powerful person and underneath all that charm he puts on he is a very violent person. They would have laughed at me. It never occurred to me".
A spokesman for Sooty said today, "Sooty denies these outrageous allegations and the fact that he is fifty-five and his fiancee is sixteen has nothing to do with it".
When asked by a reporter if she was absolutely certain about her allegations Soo was indignant, "Look if it was not Sooty's hand up me - whose was it then?"