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Harris sketched in dock as alleged victims gave evidence

ROLF Harris has been making sketches in the dock during his indecent assault trial, Southwark Crown Court has heard.

But trial judge Mr Justice Sweeney told jurors that the veteran entertainer's drawings had been "innocent" and have now been destroyed.

As Harris took to the dock to give evidence, the court heard about his rise to stardom. He described how he had created his famous "wobbleboard", and even sang a segment of his hit song Jake The Peg.

The 84-year-old told how he came to England at the age of 21 to pursue a career in art as he did not want to just be a "weekend painter".

He earned money by performing in the evenings while taking painting courses, the court heard.

The star said he was inspired to try to carve a television career after seeing an entertainer telling stories and doing drawings on TV and thinking he could do better.

He wrote to the BBC to ask for an audition, but it was a disaster, he said.

"It was a disaster because my selling ability was my ability to do drawings quickly and tell the story while doing the drawings, except that in a panicked situation I did all my drawings the night before in my room."

He said the person he auditioned for was directing a secretary while he was performing, and then gave a 'dismissive' thanks at the end.

But the BBC did offer Harris a slot on a show, marking the start of a TV career that saw him awarded an OBE, MBE and CBE, and commissioned to paint the Queen.

The 84-year-old denies 12 indecent assaults between 1968 and 1986.

The case continues.

Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

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