Veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall has been charged with three offences of indecent assault against young girls.
The 82-year-old is accused of alleged offences committed between 1974 and 1984 involving three girls aged between nine and 16, Lancashire Police said.
He was initially arrested on suspicion of rape and a further allegation of indecent assault, for which he has been released without charge.
The BBC said the former It's A Knockout star would not be working at the corporation while police continue their investigation into the allegations.
A BBC spokesman said: "In light of the very serious nature of these charges, Stuart Hall will not be working at the BBC while the police continue with their inquiries."
The broadcaster's arrest comes as the BBC continues to deal with the fall-out of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.
Hall was detained at his home in Prestbury Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire, this morning before being taken to a police station for questioning.
John Dilworth, Head of CPS North West Complex Casework Unit, said: "Following investigations by Lancashire Police into allegations of sexual assault by Stuart Hall, I have reviewed all the evidence that they have gathered and have authorised Lancashire police to charge him with three counts of indecent assault.
"The charges are that between 1 September 1974 and 31 December 1974 he indecently assaulted a woman who was then aged 16 or 17 years, that between 1 January 1983 and 31 December 1983 he indecently assaulted a girl then aged eight or nine years, and that between 1 July 1984 and 27 September 1984 he indecently assaulted a girl then aged 13 years.
Hall has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century and was this year awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours.
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His eccentric and erudite football match summaries have made him a cult figure on BBC Radio 5 Live.
Officers arrived at his home at about 8am this morning and stayed until about 2pm, before a uniformed officer left carrying two bin bags containing items.
At 8.34pm a woman, described by police as a "guest", left the family home in a black Range Rover.
Two police officers remained stationed outside on the drive.
One officer told a scrum of photographers, TV crews and reporters there would be no one else leaving or arriving at the property tonight.
Hall has been bailed to appear before magistrates in Preston on January 7 2013.
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