BBC presenter Stephen Nolan has apologised on air after it was reported by a newspaper that he shared “explicit” images of a reality star with fellow staff members.
A number of claims were made against Nolan, who is the highest earning BBC broadcaster in Northern Ireland, in The Irish News on Tuesday (15 August).
Addressing the claims on his Radio Ulster programme on Friday morning (18 August), Nolan said he was “deeply sorry” for the incident and was speaking with a “longtime friend and peer outside of work” when the images were sent.
The newspaper reported Nolan allegedly shared two sexual images of reality star Stephen Bear in 2016 with BBC staff, whilst his production team was attempting to book him for the show.
Former Celebrity Big Brother winner Bear was jailed for 21 months in March of this year for sharing a revenge porn video of him having sexual intercourse with ex-girlfriend Georgia Harrison on his OnlyFans account.
“We have had days, as you probably know, of headlines about me and the Nolan team in the papers this week, and I am not ignoring the story,” Nolan said on his show.
“It’s just that the BBC has processes in place to deal with staff complaints. 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’m sorry.
“There was a photograph. It was widely available on the internet and I was talking to a longtime friend and peer outside of work.
“I am deeply sorry.”
The presenter went on to deny other claims made against him in the The Irish News article.
Addressing the claim that BBC staff were placed in the audience to tell the production team if there was “someone feisty”, he said it was “categorically false”.
Nolan said: “There have been other headlines too, including a suggestion that we manipulate programmes by planting producers in the studio audience.
“I’m telling you why and I can say this on the record. That is completely, categorically false.
“We do not do that. And the Nolan team, we value our relationship with you far too much to compromise it.”