UK

Dave Lee Travis 'professional' when taking naked photos

Dave Lee Travis Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Travis asked Ms Birks if she would model for him after seeing her tattoos

A woman has told a court that DJ Dave Lee Travis was "very, very professional" when he took naked photographs of her at his house.

Elisabeth Birks told Southwark Crown Court she had met Mr Travis at a charity event and he asked her to model for him after seeing her tattoos.

The court has previously heard that he was a keen photographer.

Mr Travis, 68, from Buckinghamshire, denies 13 counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault.

'Comfortable'

Ms Birks, a musician, said the former BBC and Classic Gold DJ had tapped her on the shoulder at the event in London and said he liked the tattoo on her back, which was visible because she was wearing a backless dress.

She said Mr Travis - who is being tried under his real name, David Patrick Griffin - was polite, "very friendly" and "seemed lovely".

She visited his home in 2010 with her husband and the couple had tea with the DJ and his wife before the photo session.

Ms Birks said she "felt comfortable for the whole thing" and Mr Travis would always ask if he wanted her to change position.

Asked if he did anything inappropriate, she said: "No, not at all. Everything was fine."

The jury previously heard that Mr Travis took nude and semi-nude shots of women but he denied such photographs were "tacky", adding that he was a fellow of the British Institute of Professional Photographers.

'Big hug'

Another witness, Kevin Howlett, who worked on Radio 1 roadshows and produced Dave Lee Travis's Saturday show from 1985 to 1987, said the DJ was a "gentle giant of a man".

He said he associated him with "warmth, friendliness and jollity" and recalled receiving a hug from the DJ when they worked together.

Mr Travis's style was to "just be friendly and give somebody a big hug", he said.

Asked if it would have become known if someone was being sexually inappropriate at the BBC, Mr Howlett said: "Yes, there would probably have been whispers or rumours.

"I never heard anything to do with that with Dave. Not one whisper or rumour."

Former Radio 1 producer Timothy Blackmore said he was not aware of any inappropriate behaviour by Mr Travis while they worked together at the BBC.

He said Mr Travis was "gregarious, warm hearted, entertaining and professional".

Rescued from crowds

Mr Blackmore said he had only heard "stories" of a complaint against the DJ at Classic Gold radio where Mr Travis worked in the early 2000s.

The producer, who left the BBC in 1977, said Radio 1 DJs were "elevated in the national consciousness" in the 1960s and 1970s and idolised by fans.

He could not remember any specific incident involving Mr Travis meeting fans but said he had had to rescue fellow DJs Tony Blackburn and Noel Edmonds from crowds on separate occasions.

On another occasion he had travelled by train to Blackpool with an unnamed Radio 1 DJ when they were spotted by a "couple of girls".

"The end result was that when we got into Manchester he got off the train with them.

"I tried to persuade him not to get off... but he insisted and went off to do with these two young ladies, I do not know what."

Mr Blackmore told the court that the DJ involved was not Mr Travis, Mr Blackburn or Mr Edmonds.

Sandra Lillywhite, who worked as a secretary at the BBC from 1964 to 1985, said Mr Travis was "very professional, very friendly" and "enjoyable to work with".

Asked if she had heard any complaints about the DJ, she replied: "No, never."

Asked if "star" DJs at Radio 1 were too big for complaints to be made against them, she said: "Not at all."

The trial continues.

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