Chiswick based TV presenter emphatically denies abuse allegations

Matthew Kelly has vehemently denied allegations of sexual abuse against young boys in the 1970s saying that his arrest came 'as a complete shock and surprise'.

A statement issued through his lawyers said 'He has co-operated fully with the police and will of course continue to do so should that be necessary. It should be noted that he has been released without charge.'

He is now back on stage in Birmingham, where he is appearing as Captain Hook in Peter Pan, and in his return performance thanked the audience for their support and received several minutes of applause from the packed theatre.

Matthew Kelly was arrested by Surrey Police in a co-ordinated operation in connection with historic allegations of sexual abuse against boys under the age of 16 years old. Press speculation has linked this to the case of Jonathan King who was imprisoned last year.

Kelly, a married father of two who lives in Chiswick, was arrested in Birmingham. He was the brought to Guidlford police station where he was held overnight. Police searched his home and removed four sacks of items including a box of printed material and several videos. The haul included several video tapes.

The TV star's holiday home in Sri Lanka has also been raided. Officials from Sri Lanka's National Child Protection Authority, accompanied by local police officers, seized 54 video tapes and a computer from Kelly's house in a suburb of Colombo. A spokesman for the Sri Lankan authorities said that the tapes were mainly of children's cartoons.

A police spokesman said that both men had been arrested in relation to incidents that occured in the 1970s and that it was a joint investigation. The arrests are not connected to the Operation Ore investigations into child pornography. A number of addresses are being searched in connection with the arrests.

A spokeswoman for Granada, which makes Kelly's hit ITV1 show Stars In Their Eyes, reportedly said: "Granada is not making any comment or statement on this issue."

Matthew Kelly has been an active member of the local community including helping out with the campaign against the Pinnacle development.

January 19, 2003

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