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.