BBC NI’s Stephen Nolan says he is ‘deeply sorry’ after sending sexually explicit image

The Irish News reported it obtained documents which reveal details of a complaint regarding the presenter sending provocative photographs of Bear to a group chat involving colleagues that worked on his radio and television shows.

An investigation reportedly led to a case to be answered under the BBC’s disciplinary policy in 2018, with the organisation stating “appropriate action” was taken.

Speaking at the start of his radio show on Friday morning, Mr Nolan said: “We have had days, as you probably know, of headlines about me and the Nolan team in the papers this week.

“I am not ignoring the story, but it is just the BBC has processes in place to deal with staff complaints and I do and need to totally respect those processes. They have got to be confidential for them to work.

“I can say one thing though. I am sorry. There was a photograph, it was widely available on the internet and I was talking to a long term friend and peer outside of work. I am deeply sorry.”

Bear, a Celebrity Big Brother winner, was jailed for 21 months earlier this year after being convicted of ‘revenge porn’ and voyeurism.

The charges related to him secretly filming himself having sex with his ex-girlfriend and Love Island star Georgia Harrison, and sharing it online without her consent.

In 2016, Bear had appeared on an episode of Nolan Live, which is co-produced by Nolan’s company Third Street Studios.

Messages containing the sexually explicit images, seen by the Irish News, are understood to have been sent prior to this, in relation to Bear’s possible feature on the BBC One show, with Mr Nolan threatening to send more explicit images if Bear was not booked on the programme.

Mr Nolan also addressed claims which had surfaced in the media suggesting people or staff working on Mr Nolan’s flagship television show were planted in the audience to speak, masquerading as audience members.

Mr Nolan, however, rejected any accusations of this taking place saying it is “completely and categorically false”.

Continuing his statement on the show on Friday he added: “There have been other headlines too including a suggestion that we manipulate programmes by planting producers in the studio audience.

“I am telling you now and I am saying this on the record, that is completely and categorically false. We do not do that in the Nolan team, we value our relationship with you far too much to compromise it.”

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