Sir Cliff Richard was nearly too patriotic sue BBC over filming raid

‘How can I sue the BBC, it’s like suing Britain!’ Sir Cliff Richard says he was nearly too patriotic to take corporation to court over filming of raid on his house

  • Sir Cliff tells C4’s The Accused: National Treasures On Trial: ‘I prayed every night’
  • The singer, 81, was facing accusations that he had abused a boy in the 1980s
  • Singer admits he felt bad about suing BBC for filming a police raid on his house
  • He has spoken about his ordeal for Channel 4 documentary airing tonight
  • He took legal action against BBC and police, costing £5m, but got only half back

Sir Cliff Richard has admitted he was nearly too patriotic to sue the BBC after they filmed a police raid on his home as it was like ‘suing Britain’.

Despite feeling bad about suing the national broadcaster, the 81-year-old singer’s need to fight allegations he abused a boy in the 1980s won out.

‘I felt bad about it, I said to the lawyers, how can I sue the BBC? It’s like suing Britain,’ he says.

‘But I thought to myself, these people need to learn that I’m serious about this, this was a very serious, nasty, harmful thing said about me.’

He has also revealed he prayed each night for the truth to be known as he fought the claims of abuse. 

Sir Cliff Richard flanked by Paul Gambaccini (right) and Daniel Janner QC after his giving evidence in a parliament select committee

Sir Cliff Richard arrives at The High Court at the Rolls building for his lawsuit against the BBC in 2018

Sir Cliff speaks about his two-year ordeal in a Channel 4 documentary at 9pm tonight which also features radio presenters Paul Gambaccini and Neil Fox, who similarly faced historical sex abuse accusations.

He told documentary The Accused: National Treasures On Trial: ‘I prayed every night. You cannot stop thinking about it… how could someone [his accuser] do this?’

He took legal action against the BBC and South Yorkshire Police. He says it cost him £5million but he got only about half back.

Sir Cliff also described the physical impact he felt from the ‘stress’ of the investigation.

He said: ‘I came out in shingles all over my head. Fortunately, a local doctor in Portugal diagnosed it.

‘After about the third visit he said it’s coming down your forehead, you don’t want to get it in your eyes because it can blind you.

‘I said, ‘How do you get shingles?’ He just looked at me, gave a little tiny smile and said, ‘stress’.’

The Accused: National Treasures on Trial airs tonight, Wednesday August 24, at 9pm on Channel 4 & All 4.

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