Belfast Telegraph

'Rolf Harris revelations sickened me': Lynda Bryans on her former Animal Hospital co-star... and how his wife was always watching him

By Christopher Woodhouse

Former UTV presenter Lynda Bryans has said she is sickened, saddened and disappointed at her former co-star Rolf Harris.

Bryans co-presented the first series of BBC show Animal Hospital in 1994 with the Australian entertainer.

Harris was jailed for over five years on Friday after being convicted of 12 counts of indecent assault between 1969 and 1986.

In her column in the News Letter she wrote of how she “marvelled at his talent with a paintbrush” and at the time she “felt privileged to be working with a TV legend”.

Ahead of his sentencing, Bryans said: “Today I am sickened, saddened, and as Cilla Black put it when she heard about Harris's guilty verdict, disappointed — very disappointed.”

The former UTV news presenter also noted how strange it seemed that Harris' wife Alwen was always by his side on set.

She wrote: “I remember thinking the constant presence of his wife Alwen was slightly strange.

“She seemed like a nice woman, we didn't engage in much conversation, but I do remember she hardly ever left his side which is unusual on a TV or film set.

“She was always there, close to him like a woman who knows her husband has had affairs and is wary of other women.

“Was she protecting him from me (I was heavily pregnant at the time), from other women or from himself?”

Bryans, who is married to UUP leader Mike Nesbitt, left the show when she joined UTV as a newsreader.

She went on to say that the revelations changed everything and that, like Jimmy Savile, Harris thought his celebrity status put him above the law.

Further reading:

Rolf Harris 'groped and licked' Linda Nolan when she was 15 - and 'assaulted Vanessa Feltz on live TV' 

Rolf Harris caged: Victims' anguish laid bare as sex beast jailed 

First Savile and now Harris. But has abuse tarnished a TV generation? 

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