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Friday, 24 January, 2003, 08:47 GMT
TV star denies sex allegation
Matthew Kelly
Matthew Kelly is most famous for Stars in their Eyes
Stars in their Eyes presenter Matthew Kelly has said he "emphatically denies" an allegation of sexual abuse against a young boy.

The 52-year-old TV star, of Chiswick, west London, was released on bail on Thursday after being questioned by police.

Mr Kelly is due to answer bail at Guildford police station, where he had been held overnight, on 12 March, a Surrey Police spokesman said.

He had been held in connection with alleged sexual abuse against a boy under 16, police said.

A number of addresses are being searched in connection with the arrests

Surrey Police

But in a statement released on his behalf by London-based law firm Kingsley Napley, the star said the accusation was not true.

"Mr Kelly emphatically denies the allegation made against him which has come as a complete shock and surprise," said the statement.

"He has co-operated fully today with the police and will of course continue to do so should that be necessary. It should be noted that he has been released without charge."

No further comment would be made by Mr Kelly as the matter was ongoing, the statement said.

The former manager of 1970s pop band The Bay City Rollers, Tam Paton, has been arrested in connection with the same inquiry.

Mr Paton, in his late 50s, was arrested in Edinburgh.

Both men were arrested as part of the sex abuse inquiry that led to the conviction of pop mogul Jonathan King.

King was jailed for seven years in November 2001 after he was found guilty of four indecent assaults and two serious sexual offences against boys, carried out in the 1980s.

He was also registered as a sex offender and banned from working with children.

'No witch-hunt'

The police denied they were carrying out a celebrity witch-hunt, amid reports other famous people were being investigated.

Surrey Police insisted their investigation was focused on specific allegations and was not a "wide-ranging trawl into the showbusiness world".

A spokesman added that the recent arrests were not part of Operation Ore, the investigation into users of a US child pornography website.

It is believed the accusations all date from the 1970s, and that the inquiry has been ongoing for several months.

Matthew Kelly as Captain Hook
Kelly has been playing Captain Hook on stage
Mr Kelly was arrested early on Wednesday evening at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, where he has been appearing as Captain Hook in a production of Peter Pan.

In a statement on Thursday, the theatre said the show would continue without him.

The star - who is married with two grown-up children - has also appeared recently in a touring production of Of Mice and Men.

Granada, which makes Kelly's hit ITV1 show Stars In Their Eyes, has refused to comment.

There are no new editions of Stars in their Eyes currently scheduled for ITV1.

Police said they were also searching "a number of addresses" in connection with the two arrests.

The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"His west London home is being searched"
The BBC's Danny Shaw
"He hasn't been charged with anything"
See also:

16 Jan 03 | Entertainment
16 Jan 03 | Entertainment
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