British broadcaster stripped of honour over sex assaults

Veteran British broadcaster Stuart Hall will be stripped of a prestigious honour today after being jailed for a string of indecent assaults, a government source said.

Hall, 83, was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) last year -- two steps below a knighthood -- for his services to broadcasting and charity.

But an independent forfeiture committee has decided to remove the honour as it risks bringing the system into disrepute, in a decision signed off by the prime minister and the queen.

It will be formally announced in the London Gazette, the journal of record, today, the source told AFP.

Hall, who presented the hit BBC television show "It's a Knockout" in the 1970s and 1980s and later became a well-known radio football commentator, was described by prosecutors as an "opportunistic predator".

He was jailed in June after admitting to 14 charges of indecently assaulting girls aged between nine and 17 between 1967 and 1987, when he regularly appeared on British TV.In July, the Court of Appeal doubled his original 15-month jail sentence, saying it was inadequate.

Police began investigating Hall after a woman wrote to a newspaper columnist to complain about his OBE, saying he had abused her.

She was spurred on after abuse allegations surfaced against late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile, one of the best-known faces in British entertainment from the 1960s until the 1990s.Savile was later revealed to be a serial child sexual abuser. 

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