Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

June 16, 2016

Clement Freud

The man who has played Just A Minute more than anyone else, has been exposed as a sex abuser.

How hard and how depressing it is to write that sentence.

When I first saw the allegations yesterday, my first thought was they would be unfounded allegations. It is very easy to make allegations against a dead person. A couple of years ago there were headlines that the former Prime Minister Edward Heath was involved in the abuse and murder of young boys - no evidence ever came forward to back the claims.

In this case though, not only are named people speaking out on camera, but Clement's family and his old party have issued apologies. So we have to take it as true.

I am not going to repeat the details here. Although the focus of the news articles is on Clement's time as a MP - he shared an office for years with another paedophile MP, Cyril Smith - Just A Minute is also getting a mention.

Gyles Brandreth has written an article essentially summing up Clement as a bit odd

The Telegraph has a piece asking if Just A Minute will be tainted forever.

There are suggestions that the BBC may not again play any of Clement's shows.

If that decision is made, how does that affect the 50th anniversary celebrations coming next year? It is hard to see how any commemorative programme would ignore Clement's contribution.

The whole thing is so ugly.

And quite apart from the effect on how we think of JAM and Clement - one can only feel such intense sorrow for the women affected. I hope with all my heart that Clement's offending does not reach further than the three victims at the moment.

Hard to write such things this day.


Blogger Andrew Sherman said...

Thanks for writing this

5:37 am  
Blogger Perra Dox said...

Indeed, it shock me when I read about it.
Are there good versions somewhere of the people you liked out there in the multiverse?
Jam with him will never be the same to hear. I still bear faint hope in my heart that will be proven not so. But the truth must prevail, no matter how ugly...

7:40 am  
Blogger Perra Dox said...

Please stay with me Gyles.
Most other lovable eccentrics have let me, and many others down.

7:43 am  
Blogger DoctorDan Alsop said...

I was in shock when I heard, I just thought "This can't be right" but now after his wife apoligised, I feel that it is true. Very Sad.

2:12 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really didn't want to believe this but between his wife's statement which seemed to as good as concede his guilt, plus the testimony in the ITV programme which I found very believable I'm sadly convinced. While I can't compare what I feel to the pain of the victims I feel like I'm going through a grieving process as a fan who believed he was one of the good guys. I felt so sad when he passed on now I feel rather queasy and betrayed. It's a very sad time for JAM's many fans.

8:40 am  
Blogger Frank Jackson said...

Our under age child was targeted by a sex gang. Our family were gagged in order to suppress all information. http://bit.ly/ourNZexperience

12:33 am  
Anonymous Lolster said...

Frank, were your family really told by the police not to tell anyone what had happened? If so, I really feel for you. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to not have anybody listen or beleven what you are saying.

10:29 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are many episodes without Clement why can't TuneIn Radio continue to play those? It was one of the best shows available, child abuse is inexcusable but to dump the whole program because of one panel member seems extreme.

9:34 am  
Blogger Dean said...

The Tune In radio disappearance isn't related at all to Clement. The BBC asked for it to be taken down on copyright grounds.

1:50 pm  

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