TalkTV’s Vanessa Feltz has claimed she was groped by paedophile Rolf Harris whilst she was interviewing him live on TV. Harris recently died from neck cancer and “frailty of old age” on May 10 aged 93.
In the wake of his death being announced on Tuesday (May 23), Feltz, who left the BBC last year, discussed the incident on her Drivetime show. She said Harris groped her during an interview in 1996.
Talking to fellow TalkTV presenter Kevin O’Sullivan, Vanessa said: "If you look at the picture, you will see that I’m wearing a full-length beaded gown. I was always in full evening dress in the morning on the bed.
"This was the whole idea of it and the noise was my dress being crunched between Rolf’s fingers as he started at my ankles and began to bring the dress further and further and further up my legs."
To try and put some distance between them, Vanessa explained that she tried to put a cushion between them like a makeshift barrier, but Harris “completely ignored it”. She also claimed that his wife was less than two feet away from them.
"And so I’m live on television and anybody who doesn’t remember The Big Breakfast? Let me tell you what it was like. Jolly, lots of children watched it," Vanessa said.
She added: "Very positive, very, very innocent, very fun show, and I can feel my dress coming further and further and further and further up my thighs, past my knees, past my knees up to my thighs.
"I didn’t know what to do because I knew that I couldn’t say, ‘Get your hand off my leg’ or ‘What the hell do you think you’re doing?’ or ‘Get off me’ and I also couldn’t jump off the bed because I was all mic-ed up and it’s a live program. I didn’t know what to do at all.”
"I tried, as you can see, to put the cushion between, that was no good. I couldn’t move any further away because you can see I would’ve fallen off the edge of the bed… his hand meanwhile was getting closer and closer and closer and closer and closer.
“And then it got to the edge of my pants, my knickers, or whatever. My lingerie, and I knew, that if I didn’t do something immediately, it was going to be a proper full-on assault.
"So I did what you’re never allowed to do as a presenter, which I wouldn’t be allowed to do on this show, which is throw to a break when I want to, rather than waiting for the director to tell me a break’s coming up."