Stuart HallIn a statement issued late last night by Lancashire Police, broadcasting veteran, Stuart Hall, has been charged with one offence of rape and 14 offences of indecent assault.

Mr Hall, 83, lives in Wilmslow.

He has been bailed to appear before magistrates in Preston on 7 February.

The rape is alleged to have been committed in 1976 and the indecent assaults are alleged to have taken place between 1967 and 1986 on 10 girls aged between nine and 16.

The Police statement read:  “Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service an 83-year-old man has this evening been charged with one offence of rape and 14 offences of indecent assault.”

Hall has been on regional and national radio and TV for over 40 years.

He rose to national prominence as the anchor of ‘It’s a Knock-out’ but was arguably best-known in the North West for his presenting roles on Look North West (the BBC’s early evening regional news programme) before he was dropped by the BBC and he moved to Granada Tonight in the early 90’s.

He remained at Granada for several years.

In recent years, he acquired a new generation of engaged listeners with his verbose but entertaining match reports for Radio 5 live on Saturday afternoons, reports hugely enlivened by his transparent joy in playing up his Northern roots and familiarity with all things Lancastrian.

He was awarded an OBE in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to broadcasting and charity.