BBC bosses have told Sir Cliff Richard they will not be rolling over in their £1m legal fight with him.
The legendary singer is suing the corporation following their infamous decision to screen a live broadcast of the moment police officers raided his home two years ago.
Sir Cliff – who is set to start a new week-long run of performances onboard a Mediterranean cruise ship – instructed lawyers to take action after accusing the tax-payer funded broadcaster of misuse of private information.
But the Sunday Mirror can today reveal the BBC has now responded to Cliff’s lawyers maintaining their decision was justified as they claim showing the footage was in the public interest.
The Beeb has also made clear that the decision was signed off by a number of senior bosses, who all agreed the decision to screen the raid was correct.
And they have said that insiders had three days notice and three days of consultation to the highest level of the Corporation, before deciding to break the now infamous exclusive.
Our new information indicates that BBC bosses appear determined to fight Sir Cliff’s claims – meaning he faces a long battle ahead.
The insider told the Sunday Mirror: The BBC have told Sir Cliff’s team that they are in no doubt everything was done by the book.
They have said that the journalist who was given the story at the BBC went to the head of news, who contacted BBC legal and head of legal and even consulted an external media lawyer to clarify their position.
This took three full days. It was not a spur of the moment thing to broadcast the raid.
“It was planned and strategic for the entire broadcast of the story.
The BBC are steadfast that this is a public interest story and they were only following a legitimate tip off from a national constabulary.
The raid in August 2014 sparked two years of Hell for the singer, before he was eventually told he would not face police prosecution over child abuse claims.
The developments could be a fresh setback for Sir Cliff, who is estimated to have already spend hundreds of thousands on legal fees.
But the insider added Sir Cliff is still intent on going all guns blazing for South Yorkshire Police in a separate action.
The under-fire constabulary’s officers raided the star’s Berkshire mansion after a man came forward to say he had been abused by him at a Christian rally in Sheffield in 1985.
They caused all of this mess in the first place, the source added.
Sir Cliff swiftly launched his bid to sue the BBC after he was cleared by police on June 16.
He had spent 22 months in legal limbo.
A planned LP release was put on hold, and the singer picked up an illness which he feared would kill him and he believes was brought on by stress.
But loyal fans refused to turn their back on the star, who had a sell out UK tour to mark his 75th birthday.
Police eventually dropped the case after admitting they were unable to substantiate claims the alleged victim made of abuse by Sir Cliff at Sheffield United’s Brammall Lane soccer stadium in 1985.
Cliff has always vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
Several other alleged victims came forward after the raid footage was aired. But not one case stood up to scrutiny.
The Sunday Mirror later exclusively revealed one of Sir Cliff’s accusers had previously been held on suspicion of attempting to blackmail the pop singer.
Another unnamed accuser, it emerged, was reportedly one of Britain’s worst serial rapists.
Sir Cliff has a five decade association with the BBC, including appearing on the first ever episode of Top of the Pops in 1964.
News Source MirrorNews