A POPULAR BBC radio presenter from the North East has been charged with indecent assault, police said yesterday.
Sunderland-born Peter Rowell, 52, faces four counts dating back to the early 1990s, according to Avon and Somerset Police. The BBC Bristol and Somerset radio host, who started his career at BBC Radio Newcastle in the 1980s, was charged by officers during the early hours of yesterday and remanded in police custody.
He is due to appear before Bristol Magistrates’ Court today.
Mr Rowell sparked a police manhunt last month when he was reported missing after failing to turn up to present his regular afternoon programme.
He was found the following day in a “depressed” and “vulnerable” state in the Cumbria area. The incident followed the recent death of his father and saw Cumbria Constabulary making inquiries in guest houses and putting up posters in police stations. Police also carried out a search of his home in Wickwar, South Gloucestershire, for clues as to where he may be. The River Frome near his home was also searched.
Mr Rowell is well-known in the West Country for fronting shows and news items for ITV West. He has presented the Afternoon Show on BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Somerset since last May. But Mr Rowell started his career at BBC Radio Newcastle as a DJ and also appeared in the children’s programme Geordie Racer in the 1980s.
In 1997 he made headlines when he shocked GMTV viewers for making a gaffe about Princess Diana’s cleavage when he thought he was off-air.