09/10/2012 08:00 BST | Updated 09/10/2012 11:08 BST

Mike Smith, Former BBC DJ, Dismisses Liz Kershaw Sexual Abuse Allegations

Former DJ, Mike Smith, has hit out at claims that a culture of sexual harassment was the norm amongst staff at the BBC during the 80s.

Writing on his blog and speaking on Radio 5, Smith questioned claims by fellow presenter Liz Kershaw that groping, fondling and an intimidating locker room atmosphere pervaded the corporation.

Kershaw has described being groped live on air by male colleagues and says that she will name and shame those involved.

Former Radio 1 DJ has dismissed groping allegations as 'mucking around'

She said: "I will be telling him (BBC director-general George Entwistle) about the sexual antics of other household names who had relationships with girls in the office or with people they met on Top Of The Pops or the Radio 1 show.

"I should stress, however, those relationships did not involve underage girls."

Smith, who worked for Radio 1 from 1982-84 and 1986-88, said that he did not recognise the culture that Kershaw describes.

He added: "Radio 1 was staffed by (mainly) fun people from both sexes (if that matters) and what went on was no different to any other institution or workplace.

Liz Kershaw claims she was groped live on air

"We had straights, gays, closets, tarts, tramps and even the occasional vicar. But, strangely enough, we had people who worked hard at being professional.

"If anything, Radio 1 was more camp than predatory."

Smith claimed that the behaviour Kershaw described was just "mucking about" and that she was guilty the 'heinous crime' of smearing other presenters.

He said: “There’s a danger here that an awful lot of innocent, good people are going to be smeared by the comments of Liz Kershaw.

“This witch hunt has got to stop.”

Kershaw's claims come in the wake of sexual abuse allegations made against Jimmy Savile in an ITV documentary. Since then more than 100 women have come forward with further claims.

Other personalities such as Gary Glitter and Freddie Starr have been implicated.


Smith later said: "The problem is you haven't got enough pages to debate this; it has been blown out of all proportion.

"And of course we're missing, as ever, the real nub of this story, and that is tracking down the poor people affected by Jimmy Savile.

"It has been blown into something else by other people. It's going to get confused and lost in the mists of time if we don't watch it."