Page last updated at 20:30 GMT, Tuesday, 24 July 2007 21:30 UK

Co-star 'did not know about porn'

Paul Whitehouse
Paul Whitehouse spent 30 minutes giving evidence

Comedian Paul Whitehouse has told a court he had no knowledge of co-star Chris Langham using child pornography as research for a TV series.

The Fast Show star co-wrote and starred in the BBC comedy drama Help, in which he played different patients seen by a psychiatrist played by Mr Langham.

Mr Langham, 58, from Kent, denies indecent assault and a serious sexual offence on a girl under 18.

He also denies 15 counts of making an indecent image of a child in 2005.

Mr Langham's defence counsel has claimed he downloaded child pornography images for research while writing Help.

Prosecutor Richard Barraclough QC asked Mr Whitehouse at Maidstone Crown Court: "Did Mr Langham ever discuss with you that he was undertaking any research for the shows?"

"Not to my knowledge, no," Mr Whitehouse replied.

'Peeping tom'

Mr Barraclough asked if there had been any discussion in the series of explicit sex with little girls.

"Absolutely not," Mr Whitehouse replied.

"Can you help the jury, did Mr Langham tell you that he had been researching things like that?"

"No," Mr Whitehouse replied.

He said he came up with the idea of a character called Pedro, for the second series of Help, as "some kind of sex offender, like a peeping Tom or a flasher or possibly even something worse".

Mr Barraclough said: "So the suggestion for the character came from you?"

Chris Langham arriving at court on 23 July
Chris Langham denies the charges against him

"Yes," Mr Whitehouse replied.

"Was there anything Mr Langham wanted the character to do?" Mr Barraclough asked.

"I can remember a couple of incidents where it was implied he had rubbed up against someone on a train," Mr Whitehouse replied.

Mr Barraclough asked him: "Did you discuss any additional sketches where this character revealed himself to have been abused as a child or confessing to sexually assaulting a child that he's been grooming?"

"No," Mr Whitehouse replied.

The actor spent 30 minutes giving evidence.

Following his appearance in court, a statement given by Mr Langham to the police was read to the jury by the prosecution.

'Distressing and upsetting'

In it he admitted downloading child porn images and video clips on to his computer.

Mr Langham stated that as a writer he was driven to "dig a little deeper into the darker and more fundamental places".

But he said he found the material "distressing and upsetting", and had never been able to watch the clips all the way through.

"They made me very angry. They've also made me very sad but as a writer it also made me want to write," Mr Langham said in the statement.

The trial continues.

video and audio news
The show Whitehouse and Langham co-wrote



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