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Chuckle Brothers 'surprised' at panto claims against Travis

ONE of the Chuckle Brothers has told a court it was "a complete surprise" to hear claims veteran DJ Dave Lee Travis indecently assaulted a stage hand at a pantomime they were starring in.

DEFENCE: Paul and Barry Elliott were called as witnesses.
DEFENCE: Paul and Barry Elliott were called as witnesses.

Children's entertainers Paul and Barry Elliott starred alongside Mr Travis in a production of Aladdin in the early 1990s, London's Southwark Crown Court heard.

Mr Travis is accused of indecently assaulting a female crew member in his theatre dressing room during the panto's run. The woman, who was 21 at the time of the alleged incident, has previously told the court her ordeal ended when they were interrupted by one of the Chuckle Brothers walking past in the corridor.

Giving evidence yesterday, Paul Elliott, 66, was asked by Stephen Vullo, defending Mr Travis, whether he recalled any inappropriate behaviour by the former Radio 1 star.

Mr Elliott replied: "No sorry, I don't. As I say it was a complete surprise."

Mr Elliott, who starred in BBC children's television series Chucklevision alongside his brother Barry, said Mr Travis was "very professional" during the panto.

Asked whether he was aware of any formal or informal arrangement to chaperone female staff members around Mr Travis, Mr Elliott replied: "Not that I recall, not at all. I think I would remember." Mr Elliott said he and his brother would have been made aware of such a policy as they were "top of the bill".

The comedian said he did not recall any particular incident when a female stage hand had left Mr Travis's dressing room.

Also appearing as a defence witness, Barry Elliott, 69, described Travis as a "jolly great chap to work with".

Asked by Mr Vullo if he was aware of a policy being implemented to make sure female members of the cast were chaperoned, the elder Chuckle Brother said: "Not at all. I don't remember that, no."

Asked if he remembered Travis ever "struggling" with a young female in his dressing room, Mr Elliott said: "I don't remember that no. If it was something serious we probably would, but I don't remember anything like that at all."

John Dean, who worked as a DJ with Mr Travis in his live shows over 35 years, told the court the former BBC presenter was "very friendly" with female fans but he had never seen him act inappropriately.

"There were always female fans," he said. "We tried to keep control as best as possible."

He added: "Very often he would pose for photos with his arm around them." On other occasions Mr Travis would let female fans sit on his knee, Mr Dean said.

"There was always a room full of people," he said.

Asked by Mr Vullo whether he ever saw Mr Travis act in an inappropriate way with a female, Mr Dean replied: "Never."

Mr Travis, 68, from Buckinghamshire, denies indecently assaulting 10 women and sexually assaulting another in incidents dating back to 1976.

The trial continues.

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