5 Aug 2013

Rolf Harris re-arrested in Savile abuse inquiry

An 83-year-old man, understood to veteran entertainer Rolf Harris, is re-arrested on further allegations of sexual offences in connection with Operation Yewtree.

Rolf Harris arrested in connection with Operation Yewtree (Image: Reuters)

He was arrested in March by Scotland Yard detectives from Operation Yewtree, the national investigation sparked by abuse claims made against disgraced television presenter Jimmy Savile.

He returned on bail on Monday and was re-arrested on suspicion of sexual offences in connection with further allegations made to the police.

Mr Harris had previously been interviewed under caution on 29 November last year, five days after a search warrant was executed at his home. He has been re-bailed to a date later in August.

Read more: Operation Yewtree - arrests so far

Mr Harris was only publicly named as a Yewtree suspect in April, when The Sun newspaper became the first media outlet to identify him in connection with the investigation.

The inquiry has been run in three strands – claims involving Savile, those involving Savile and others, and those involving others.

Mr Harris is being dealt with under the “others” strand, meaning the allegations have no link to shamed DJ Savile.

Family favourite

The Australian, who painted a portrait of the Queen in 2005 and performed at her Diamond Jubilee concert last year, has been a family favourite for decades.

He had his first musical hit, Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport, in 1960, and continued to enjoy success in the industry, gaining cult status in recent years and performing at Glastonbury festival several times.

He also proved popular as a television presenter, getting his first big break in 1967 when he began hosting his own BBC1 programme, The Rolf Harris Show, before moving on to children’s television in the 1980s and then to Animal Hospital, which he hosted from 1994 to 2004.

Mr Harris, who has lived in Bray for more than 50 years, was awarded an MBE in 1968, an OBE in 1977 and a CBE in 2006; and was made Officer of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list last year.

He made a rare public appearance at the Wickham Festival in Hampshire over the weekend.