MATTHEW Kelly, the television presenter, and Tam Paton, the former Bay City Rollers manager, were arrested last night by police investigating allegations of sexual abuse against young boys.

Kelly, 52-year-old host of Stars in Their Eyes, from Chiswick, west London, was arrested by Surrey Police in Birmingham and was being held in connection with ''historic allegations'' of sexual abuse against boys under 16. The allegations related to specific incidents that occurred during the 1970s.

Paton, now a property owner in Edinburgh, was arrested in connection with the same allegations at his home in the city.

A Surrey Police spokesman said it was a ''co-ordinated operation in connection with historic allegations of sexual abuse against boys under the age of 16-years-old. A 52-year-old man from Chiswick, London, was arrested in Birmingham. A man in his late 50s was arrested at his home address in Edinburgh.

''One man has been taken to a Surrey police station where he will be held overnight and is due to be questioned tomorrow. The second man is being held in a police station local to his address overnight and will be questioned tomorrow. A number of addresses are being searched.'' The inquiry had been going on for months.

Police said the arrests were not connected to Operation Ore, the investigation into internet child pornography.

It is understood Kelly was arrested at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, where he has been appearing as Captain Hook in Peter Pan.

Police said the two were to be questioned in connection with the same investigation.