Leonard Rossiter accused of sex abuse as criminologist says he’ll name and shame more celebs in new Savile Exposure film

by Lynn Connolly

Ever since ITV aired Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, the scandal it began has grown exponentially and has seen convicted paedophile Gary Glitter – whose real name is Paul Gadd – and comedian Freddie Starr assisting police with their inquiries into Operation Yewtree, which encompasses allegations against Savile and “others.”

And in today’s Sun, a man who formerly worked as a TV extra at the BBC has claimed that the late comedy actor Leonard Rossiter – who of course played iconic character Reginald Perrin – sexually assaulted him.

The man also claims that three other BBC staff attempted to rape him while Rossiter performed a sex act on him.

Describing the BBC as a “cesspit of depravity” the man, who was 18 years old at the time of the alleged assaults, added that the attack happened in 1968 as he worked on the set of a controversial BBC play which was entitled The Year of the Sex Olympics…

He said, “In the rehearsal room in TV Centre one BBC man tightly held my wrists while two others were behind me trying to rape me.

“I was the victim of two assaults. The second time they obviously tipped off Leonard Rossiter because while I was struggling and shouting for help he was in the room.

“He obviously found it all a big turn-on. He was watching with glee.

“The staff who attacked me were animals and thought they could get away with anything. It left me devastated and caused great stress.

“I get so angry just thinking about it.”

The man added that he and a female extra – who also claims she was molested – “stormed off” after nothing was done about their complaints.

The unnamed man said, “Staff at Television Centre assumed they could get away with anything.

“The fact the BBC didn’t investigate the complaints by my woman colleague and me goes to show what the place was like back then.

“BBC staff got away with whatever they wanted. It’s time now that these people face justice and I have given a full statement to police.”

A BBC spokesman said, “The BBC cannot comment on individual cases. It will help the police in any way it can in the course of any investigation.”

Meanwhile, as we reported earlier this week, ITV is set to air a second Exposure documentary that will focus on the aftermath of the first…

And while speaking to the Daily Star about the follow-up film, Criminologist Mark Williams-Thomas, who is a former Surrey Police child protection officer, said that the second edition will expose “known people of significant standing”.

Mr Williams-Thomas, who was in Savile’s home town of Leeds this week while filming the follow-up, tweeted, “The tide has turned for many victims. Strength to now disclose historic sexual abuse.”

He added, “There should be some worried people & rightly so. To confirm the arrest of Freddie Starr is directly related to Op Yewtree and Savile investigation.

“More arrests in due course. Huge relief for his victims in many ways.”

We’ll keep you posted on further developments, but in the meantime, here’s a reminder of Rossiter in hit sitcom, Rising Damp…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.


  1. Tom on November 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    These pathetic people… crawling out of the woodwork decades after the so-called ‘abuse’. They are not so traumatised as to miss the opportunity to make claims on celebrities estates and grab some money. It makes me sick.

  2. Rigsby on November 3, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Just a small point:

    “the man, who was 18 years old at the time of the alleged assaults, added that the attack happened in 1968 as he worked on the set of a controversial BBC play which was entitled The Year of the Sex Olympics…

    He said, “In the rehearsal room in TV Centre one BBC man tightly held my wrists while two others were behind me trying to rape me.”

    So they were in the rehearsal room – Rehearsing by any chance? And what was the play about again? Hmm.

  3. John on November 3, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    My thoughts exactly Rigsby !

    Leonard Rossiter was a professional hyper dedicated actor. And in 1968, he certainly wouldn’t have done anything at all to jeopardize his career as it had only just begun to seriously blossom.

    I do not believe he had any interest in such practices, nor do I believe that he would stand by and watch someone else hurt another human being. And as for him ‘performing a sexual act’ whilst he watched. Good Grief !!! Does this man seriously expect us to believe that Rossiter took out his penis and masturbated in front of all present in glee ?

    This fiasco has gone on far enough. At least half of the Savile claims are rubbish too. There’s something odd going on here. Look closer to home everyone. Look to your Government. I say: turn the spotlight on the depravity that is happining within the Conservative Party, the depravity that is happening NOW, under your very noses.

  4. Mark on November 4, 2012 at 12:07 am

    I have no idea whether these allegations are true or not but there are two significant problems with this story. Firstly, an extra would not normally have been attending rehearsals. Secondly, and more importantly, there were no rehearsal rooms at BBC television centre in 1968.

  5. Mike on November 4, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Mark is right on his facts, but with names of the assailants withheld from us, there could still be a case to answer. I think the DG needs to make another public apology, and maybe Chris Patten could suggest that no further programmes are ever made at the Television Centre.

  6. redmenace on November 5, 2012 at 7:14 am

    One can see already that this ‘victim’s’ story has more holes in it than JR Ewing… So he was 18 at the time? A grown adult in other words… And it was an ‘attempted’ rape? In other words he wasn’t raped at all… And Mr. Rossiter is supposed to have ‘watched’? In other words he didn’t lay a finger on this so-called ‘victim’… So in other words, no actual crime was committed… Attempted rape? Attempted cash-in, more like!

    And you’re right, Mark: There were no ‘rehearsal rooms’ at TV Centre back then… Not only is it woefully inconsistent, this ‘victim’s’ tale is also full of the tabloid bog-standard cliches (‘Den of depravity’ etc’). I worked at the BBC and then Granada, and although Saville may have been a perverted predator, the station was never the debauched dystopia people are now saying it is… I hope this obvious and pathetic scam is exposed for what it is, that Mr. Rossiter’s family take this lying opportunist to court and that people will realise this latest ‘shock revelation’ stinks more than last week’s socks….

  7. Ian smith on November 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Tom mark redmenace and rigsby! What if these allegations are true? How can you possibly know for certain they are not? These perverts need to be exposed as a warning to others and to protect innocent people in the future!

  8. Annette Biggers on November 22, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I think you all have too much self pride, regardless of if this story is true or not, there are obviously grounds or some history. It is a crime to attempt to rape someone and I pray that these perverts are all found out. I can tell you now that if it were one of my children these men would no longer be breathing. If people have the balls to come forward over somehting like this then what gives anyone the right to slander them. I think you all have it the wrong way round. There may have been some good people work for the BBC back then but there were clearly some sick people as well

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