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BBC 'Chris Evans' star to be quizzed by police over historical sex assault allegations (update)

The suggestion that Metropolitan Police officers are preparing to question Chris Evans in relation to an alleged sexual offence poses two linked dilemmas for BBC director-general and editor-in-chief Tony Hall.
Firstly, will Hall allow Evans, one of the BBC’s best-paid presenters, to continue broadcasting at the same time as this allegation is being examined?
And secondly, will Hall be willing to press pause on the new, relaunched series of Top Gear before it finishes its current run? It is worth an estimated £50 million per year to the BBC through sales of foreign rights, despite ratings being disappointing.
When Paul Gambaccini was arrested on suspicion of a historical sexual offence in November 2013 – he was later cleared – he was encouraged by BBC bosses to “step down” from his job as a BBC radio presenter while an investigation took its course.
Gambaccini stayed off air for months.
In reality, Gambaccini had no choice in the matter of whether he continued broadcasting. The fallout from the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal – and the BBC’s attempted cover-up of it – prompted the arrival of a dark cloud which still hangs heavily over the Corporation today and means it has to be seen to take all complaints against employees seriously.
It is worth remembering: Gambaccini was not the host of the vastly profitable Top Gear, or the presenter of the most popular BBC radio programme in Britain, and is far less well known than Evans. Therefore any deviation from the way the allegation against him was handled by the BBC in 2013 would likely trigger accusations of double standards.
As Heat Street reported on 12 May and 23 May, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen wrote twice to BBC chief Lord Hall and BBC Trust chairman Rona Fairhead asking for a full explanation of how the BBC examined allegations of bullying which were levelled at Evans over the last six months.
Hall’s reply makes clear that he was happy with Evans’ behaviour.
In view of the latest twist, Hall will have to act swiftly and decisively. Any dithering could prove costly to his reputation as BBC chief.
UPDATE: Chris Evans has stood down from Top Gear and BBC 

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