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Sir Cliff Richard arrives to give evidence against BBC in High Court

The singer says BBC coverage of a raid on his home after an allegation of sexual assault was a very serious invasion of privacy.

Sir Cliff Richard has arrived at the High Court ahead of giving evidence in his case against the BBC.

The 77-year-old singer claims coverage of a police raid on his home following an allegation of sexual assault was a “very serious invasion” of his privacy.

He is suing the BBC for “substantial damages” and the trial, being heard by Mr Justice Mann, started on Thursday.

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BBC Head of Newsgathering Jonathan Munro arrives at the Rolls Building during Sir Cliff Richard’s legal battle against the BBC (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

BBC bosses dispute his claims.

A barrister leading Sir Cliff’s legal team told Mr Justice Mann on Thursday that BBC coverage of the search at the singer’s apartment in Sunningdale, Berkshire, in August had a “prolonged impact” on the star.

He said the singer should get compensation at the “very top end of the scale”.

The BBC says its coverage of the police raid on Sir Cliff Richard’s apartment was accurate and in good faith.

Lawyers representing BBC bosses told Mr Justice Mann that the raid was a “matter of legitimate public interest”.

Metropolitan Police officers passed the allegation to South Yorkshire Police in July 2014.

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Sir Cliff Richard with Gloria Hunniford at the Rolls Building

Sir Cliff denied the allegation and in June 2016 prosecutors announced that he would face no charges.

A BBC spokesman has said the BBC reported Sir Cliff’s “full denial of the allegations at every stage”.

Lawyers representing South Yorkshire Police are expected to outline their case on Friday, following which Sir Cliff is due to give evidence.

The trial is due to last 10 days.

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