Sir Cliff Richard suing BBC and South Yorkshire police over home-raid coverage

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Sir Cliff Richard has launched legal action against the BBC and South Yorkshire Police after a raid on his home was filmed from a helicopter and shown live on TV.

Sir Cliff, 75, was the subject of a long-running police investigation based on allegations of historical sex offences dating between 1958 and 1983 made by four men.

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Copyright [Amer Ghazzal/REX/Shutterstock]

Back in 2014, Sir Cliff was publically named as the subject of the investigation after officers raided his apartment in Berkshire; with a BBC film crew broadcasting the events live.

The singer has always denied the allegations, and the Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) discontinued the case in June on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

The decision was reviewed last month following an application by one of the alleged accusers under the Victims’ Right to Review scheme, but concluded the original decision not to proceed was correct.

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Copyright [Amer Ghazzal/REX/Shutterstock]

Both the BBC and South Yorkshire Police have previously apologised to Sir Cliff, but legal papers filed at the High Court in London suggest that they could have to battle their own case.

The star is said to be seeking more than £1 million in damages within the papers lodged by his lawyers on Thursday, listing Sir Cliff as a claimant and the BBC and Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police as defendants.

In a statement released in June Sir Cliff criticised what he called “vile accusations” adding he was “named before I was even interviewed, and for me that was like being hung out like ‘live bait.’”

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Copyright [Ken McKay/REX/Shutterstock]

A spokesman for the singer said: “We can confirm that Sir Cliff today issued legal proceedings at the High Court against both South Yorkshire Police and the BBC. It would not be appropriate to comment further.”

A BBC spokesman said: “While we haven’t received any notification of action, we’ve said previously we are very sorry that Sir Cliff has suffered distress but we have a duty to report on matters of public interest and we stand by our journalism.”

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