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BBC apology for distress it caused to Sir Cliff Richard

By Ryan Wilkinson

Published 22/06/2016

Angry: Sir Cliff Richard
Angry: Sir Cliff Richard

The BBC has apologised for the distress caused to Sir Cliff Richard after he was publicly named as a suspect in a sex abuse investigation.

The veteran entertainer said he thought he was "going to die" due to the stress caused by the probe into historical allegations.

The case against him was dropped this month by the Crown Prosecution Service.

He said the BBC "owed" him an apology after they broadcast the live raid by South Yorkshire Police on his Berkshire home following an apparent tip-off.

In a statement, the corporation said it "applied normal editorial judgments" to the story, but added: "The BBC is very sorry that Sir Cliff Richard, who has worked as a musician and performer for so many years with the organisation, has suffered distress.

"The BBC's responsibility is to report fully stories that are in the public interest. Police investigations into prominent figures in public life are, of course, squarely in the public interest, which is why they have been reported by all news organisations in this country."

The singer (75) said he was left physically and emotionally exhausted by the investigation.

Describing one episode the day after the police search, the keen tennis player told how he was taken ill on the court.

He said: "I thought I was going to die."

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