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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 May 2006, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
BBC stands by Glitter interview
Gary Glitter
Gary Glitter admitted the future looked bleak for him

The BBC has defended its decision to air an interview with convicted sex abuser and former singer Gary Glitter.

At least 232 complaints have been received since the footage was shown on Tuesday's One O'Clock News and repeated in subsequent bulletins.

"An interview with a convicted criminal can provoke strong feelings, but it is never our intention to offend," said a spokeswoman for the BBC.

"He was strongly challenged on his protestations of innocence," she added.

It's beyond me that the interview even happened
Christine Bedoe, director, End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking

"The BBC report made it very clear that Paul Gadd [Glitter's real name] is a convicted paedophile. In our headlines, we said he was 'disgraced, 'jailed for molesting young girls' and that he 'refuses to admit he did wrong'.

"His convictions in both the UK and Vietnam were detailed on screen so viewers could be in no doubt as to his guilt."

The spokeswoman added that the trials of Glitter - real name Paul Gadd - had been covered in detail by other major broadcasters and newspapers, and that the issue is "clearly in the public interest" and that the BBC has a "duty to explain".

Coverage of the interview on the BBC News website attracted more than 220,000 page hits.

Christine Bedoe, director of End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking, said Glitter was "manipulating the media just as a sexual offender would manipulate or groom their victim".

"It's beyond me that the interview happened," she added.


Conservative culture spokesman John Whittingdale told The Daily Mail: "Most people would be horrified at the idea of Gary Glitter being given a platform to deny these crimes by the BBC."

The newspaper branded the coverage as "sickening" and called Glitter's interview "self-seeking".

Glitter was jailed for three years in Vietnam for molesting two girls aged 11 and 12.

He insisted he was confident of winning his appeal, set provisionally for 19 May in Ho Chi Minh City.

The judge at his trial condemned his crimes in detail, but Glitter said he had not seen any evidence to support this and denied he had done anything wrong.

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