London - British radio presenter Dave Lee Travis on Friday protested his innocence following his arrest for sexual offences, after his employers said he was being taken off the air with immediate effect.
Travis, who counts Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi among his fans, was arrested on Thursday as part of a police investigation into allegations of child sex abuse against his late colleague Jimmy Savile.
There is no suggestion that Travis, 67, had anything to do with child abuse, however, and he repeated that assertion to reporters gathered outside his home near Leighton Buzzard, northwest of London.
Two women have alleged in recent weeks that he groped them in the 1970s, but he strongly denied this.
“This is nothing to do with kids, all right? That's the first thing. Because that to me is the most important thing in the world and I do not wish to have my name sullied around something that bloody evil, to be honest,” Travis said.
“The second thing I want is to say, yes, there's a complete denial there, but there's nothing else I can tell you because otherwise I might be stepping on the police's feet and I don't want to do that because it might affect their investigations.”
Earlier, the local radio station where Travis now works said he had been taken off the air pending the outcome of the police probe.
Bauer Media said that while the allegations against him pre-dated his work for them, they had “decided to take him off air with immediate effect from his Magic AM weekend shows, which broadcast across the north of England”.
Travis, nicknamed the Hairy Cornflake, worked with Savile at BBC Radio 1 during the 1970s and 1980s and was one of the most recognisable faces in British broadcasting.
He also had a music request show on the BBC World Service, which Aung San Suu Kyi said last year had helped her get through more than two decades under house arrest.
Travis is one of four people arrested by police in recent weeks as part of their investigation into sexual offences sparked by claims that Savile, who died last year aged 84, was a serial child abuser.
These include former glam rocker and convicted paedophile Gary Glitter and comedian Freddie Starr, who have both protested their innocence. - Sapa-AFP