VETERAN BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall has been charged with three offences of indecent assault against young girls.
The 82-year-old former It's A Knockout star is accused of alleged offences committed between 1974 and 1984 involving three girls aged between nine and 16, Lancashire Police said. He was initially arrested on suspicion of rape and a further allegation of indecent assault, for which he has been released without charge.
A BBC spokesman said: "In light of the very serious nature of these charges, Stuart Hall will not be working at the BBC while the police continue their inquiries."
The broadcaster's arrest comes as the BBC continues to deal with the fallout of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.
Hall was detained at his home in Prestbury Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire, yesterday morning before being taken to a police station for questioning.
John Dilworth, Head of CPS North West Complex Casework Unit, said: "Following investigations into allegations of sexual assault by Stuart Hall, I have reviewed all the evidence that they have gathered and have authorised Lancashire police to charge him with three counts of indecent assault."
He said the charges are that in 1974 Hall indecently assaulted a woman who was then aged 16 or 17 years, that in 1983 he indecently assaulted a girl then aged eight or nine years, and that in 1984 he indecently assaulted a girl then aged 13 years.
Hall has been a familiar face and voice in British broadcasting for half a century and was this year awarded an OBE.