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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 25 February, 2003, 23:32 GMT
Cleared Kelly thanks supporters
Matthew Kelly
Mathew Kelly will be in Darlington until 1 March
Television presenter Matthew Kelly has made his first stage appearance the day after police ruled out further action over a sex allegation.

The Stars In Their Eyes host appeared in a production of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, at Darlington's Civic Theatre, County Durham.

On Monday detectives said they were taking no further action over an allegation involving a young boy, which dated back to the 1970s.

Mr Kelly thanked his supporters as he arrived at the Civic Theatre on Tuesday evening.

He said: "I would just like to say to everybody who has supported me that the public have been fantastic and all the theatre people lovely.

"The Birmingham rep were marvellous. I have worked ever since.

"The Liverpool people were sensational and Darlington is always a great date and I am looking forward to tonight."

Cocaine use

He said he was hoping for "a North East welcome".

Mr Kelly is appearing in the role of Lennie in a touring production of the play Of Mice and Men until 1 March.

A spokeswoman for Darlington Civic Theatre said: "Ticket sales have been good.

"It is an excellent cast and we are looking forward to a good run."

Despite the drugs find Granada - which makes Stars In Their Eyes - and ITV said he would return to the screen and his admission that he had used cocaine would have "no bearing" on his future.

Mr Kelly said the Class A drug found at his home had been for his own "personal and occasional use" and he recognised using it was "both illegal and foolish".

Operation Arundel

Mr Kelly was arrested on 15 January in his dressing room after appearing as Captain Hook in a pantomime in Birmingham.

The allegation against him was connected to Operation Arundel, the inquiry which led to the jailing of pop mogul Jonathan King.

Two other men - former Bay City Rollers manager Tam Paton, 64, and record producer Steve Jolley, 52, who produced hits for Spandau Ballet, Bananarama and Kim Wilde in the 1980s - have also been arrested by Surrey Police investigating allegations of child sex abuse.

They are still on bail.

The BBC's Torin Douglas
"He's one of those classic family entertainers"

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