Rolf Harris has been confirmed as the 83-year-old Australian entertainer arrested in the UK on suspicion of historic sex offences, according to UK paper The Sun.
As part of Operation Yewtree, the inquiry set up in the wake of the Sir Jimmy Saville child abuse scandal, Harris’ home was first raided in November last year before he was interviewed and was arrested again 28 March.
Social media channels have long-suspected Harris was the subject of the interrogations but today UK paper The Sun has been the first mainstream media brave enough to name him.
They claim that Harris “vehemently denies any wrongdoing”.
British police said an 82-year-old Australian entertainer had been arrested on suspicion on sexual offences by officers investigating former BBC star Saville. Harris has since turned 83.
Earlier this year theMusic.com.au had contacted Scotland Yard for confirmation on Harris’ identity but hadn’t received it in the correspondence.
Harris, one of Australia’s best known entertainers, was inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame in 2008.
A representative from ARIA has been contacted for comment about whether or not if found guilty he will be stripped of his honour.
They said, "As a current police matter ARIA has no comment to make on this issue."
Harris was appointed a member of the Order of Australia in 1989 and last year was made Officer (AO) in the Queen’s birthday honours. Famously, he has painted the queen and has a number of British honours.
Originally from Perth, Harris’ versions of Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport, Two Little Boys, Waltzing Matilda and Stairway To Heavenare renowned globally. He is also a popular television presenter and has an ongoing show in the UK, Rolf's Animal Clinic, which aired as recently as Wednesday. Two Little Boys was believed to be late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s favourite song.
In 1982 Rolf Harris was involved in the Brisbane Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.
A year after Saville’s death in 2011 a multitude of child sex allegations were brought against the prominent British entertainer, sparking one of the biggest entertainment scandals of the decade. BBC staff from both the ‘60s, ‘70s were implicated for ‘turning a blind eye’ while current executives stood down after they were alleged to have not aired programs making claims against Saville.
Saville's charitable connections were shut down in the aftermath and his headstone was removed.