UK

Dave Lee Travis: Dancer felt 'safe' with veteran DJ

Dave Lee Travis Image copyright AP

A Top of the Pops dancer has told a court she felt "safe" with veteran DJ Dave Lee Travis.

Dee Dee Wilde, from dance group Pan's People, told Southwark Crown Court that Mr Travis was a "loveable big bear of a man".

The trial also heard from Paul Elliott, one of the Chuckle Brothers, who said it was a "shock" to hear claims against 69-year-old Mr Travis.

Mr Travis denies two counts of indecent assault and one of sexual assault.

He is being tried under his real name David Griffin.

As a DJ on the BBC's Radio 1 until 1993, Mr Travis, from Buckinghamshire, was a regular host of Top of the Pops.

Ms Wilde told the court that the dancers sometimes put up with "very flirtatious" men who thought they could "try it on".

'Lovely man'

"I felt totally uncomfortable in the presence of Jimmy Savile and so did the other girls as well," said.

"He used to come up to you too close but you had to work with him because he did a lot of the shows."

Ms Wilde recalled a trip to Madrid where relentless pinching left the women with bruised bottoms.

She said: "It was a different time to now. It was different things that seemed acceptable".

Image copyright PA
Image caption Dee Dee Wilde told the court Mr Travis was a "great guy"

Asked if she believed Mr Travis was the kind of man who thought it was acceptable to pinch women, she said: "Absolutely not, in fact you felt safe with Dave."

She also told the court she had never seen Mr Travis behaving a sleazy way.

'Gentle giant'

"I liked him tremendously," she added.

"He was a lovely man and a great guy and very funny as well. I did not see him do anything inappropriate in all the years I have known Dave."

She added: "If that had been the case he would not have been my friend."

Meanwhile, Mr Elliot - from the BBC's Chuckle Brothers series - told the court Mr Travis "seemed to get on with everybody."

Mr Elliott and fellow Chuckle Brother Barry Elliott shared the bill with Mr Travis in a pantomime performance of Aladdin in 1990 when an alleged indecent assault is said to have taken place.

The alleged victim has claimed the Elliotts interrupted the incident.

But Paul Elliott said he never heard claims Mr Travis had acted inappropriately.

'Nice company'

"The first that I heard about it was in the newspapers and it was a complete shock," he told the court.

"I certainly do not recall anything untoward from anyone coming out of his room."

A woman who played the princess in the production said she was not aware of any complaint against him.

Gaynor Burton said: "I do not remember anything at all, it was a nice company."

She said of Mr Travis: "He was very friendly. He is a gentle giant, very fun and a true professional."

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