The BBC has launched an investigation into allegations two Doctor Who producers groomed and abused young fans.

A former Blue Peter boss has claimed TV executives John Nathan-Turner and his partner Gary Downie sexually abused starry-eyed young male fans during the 1980s.

The couple, who lived together in Saltdean, have both since died.

The BBC has now launched a probe into the allegations that will be led by former Court of Appeal judge Dame JanetSmith, who is heading a review into the case against Jimmy Savile.

Last night (March 27)Alternative Panto producer Brian Ralfe, who knew both men for many years, said the allegations were “complete rubbish”.

He said: “I think it’s a shame they are not here to defend themselves.

“It’s someone jumping on the Savile bandwagon.”

Fan interviews

Mr Nathan-Turner, who died in 2002 aged 54, was Doctor Who’s longest-serving producer, working on the show for two decades with six different doctors.

Along with his partner, production manager Mr Downie, he regularly gave interviews to fan magazines and attended conventions.

But in his book, former colleague Richard Marson said the pair regularly preyed on starry-eyed young “victims” who were mostly in their teens and under 21 – the homosexual age of consent at the time.

Mr Ralfe, who produces Brighton’s Alternative Pantomime, said: “It’s true that they used to go abroad to the conventions.

'All rubbish'

“But if they went with somebody it was always someone around their own age. This is all rubbish.”

The book, JN-T: the Life and Scandalous Times of John Nathan-Turner, is due out in May.

A BBC spokesman said: “We can’t comment on individual cases but allegations of this nature are extremely serious.

“We have set up the Dame Janet Smith review to help us understand how alleged incidents of this nature could have been committed, and so we can avoid them happening ever again.”

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