Rolf Harris, the once-beloved BBC presenter whose legacy was tarnished when he was convicted of child sex offences, has died. He was 93.
Press Association, the UK media agency, said it had confirmed the news of Harris’ death with the registrar at Maidenhead Town Hall. He was reportedly unwell with neck cancer.
In a statement, his family told the BBC: “This is to confirm that Rolf Harris recently died peacefully surrounded by family and friends and has now been laid to rest. They ask that you respect their privacy. No further comment will be made.”
'Rolf Harris: Hiding In Plain Sight': ITV Greenlights Documentary Exploring Shocking Truth Behind Former 'Animal Hospital' Presenter's Abusive Crimes
The Australian presenter was taken into the hearts of British viewers as the twinkling and empathetic host of shows including Animal Hospital, but his downfall was spectacular.
Harris was jailed for nearly six years in 2014 after being convicted of indecent assaults against four girls. One of his victims was a childhood friend of his daughter Bindi.
Harris, whose abuse came to light after Jimmy Savile’s atrocities spilled out into the public domain in 2012, served three years in prison and was released in 2017. He never apologized to his victims.
Born in Perth in 1930, Harris moved to the UK in 1952 and became something of an adopted national treasure before his crimes came to light.
A hugely popular presenter, musician, and artist, he was best known for BBC shows including Animal Hospital and The Rolf Harris Show, as well as hit songs such as Jake the Peg.
His work granted him access to Queen Elizabeth II, who posed for an official portrait with Harris to mark her 80th birthday in 2006. He was awarded an OBE, MBE, and CBE by the Queen, and won a BAFTA Fellowship in 2012, all of which were removed after his conviction.
His crimes are the subject of an ITV documentary, which premiered on streaming service ITVX last week. Produced by Optomen, the two-part series is titled Rolf Harris: Hiding in Plain Sight.
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