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BAFTA suspends Noel Clarke over sexual harassment allegations

BAFTA suspends Noel Clarke over sexual harassment allegations
BAFTA suspends Noel Clarke after the actor is accused of improper conduct by 20 women.

BAFTA has announced that it has suspended actor Noel Clarke following allegations against him from 20 women.

The 45-year-old - known for the Kidulthood movies, Bulletproof and Doctor Who - was given the prestigious Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award at the BAFTA Film Awards just a few weeks ago.

A report in The Guardian says that 20 women have come forward to accuse Clarke variously of verbal abuse, bullying and sexual harassment.

The newspaper carries in-depth details of the allegations made by some of the women, with some accusing him of pressuring them for sex, others claiming that he had secretly filmed them during nude auditions and one branding him "a sexual predator".

The actor has strenuously denied all of the claims against him, saying in a statement: "In a 20-year career, I have put inclusivity and diversity at the forefront of my work and never had a complaint made against me. If anyone who has worked with me has ever felt uncomfortable or disrespected, I sincerely apologise. I vehemently deny any sexual misconduct or wrongdoing and intend to defend myself against these false allegations."

BAFTA's statement read: "In light of the allegations of serious misconduct regarding Noel Clarke in The Guardian, BAFTA has taken the decision to suspend his membership and the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award immediately and until further notice."

News of the allegations comes midway through the broadcast of ITV drama Viewpoint, starring Clarke as a police officer undertaking a surveillance operation, which is being shown in primetime every night this week.

The broadcaster went ahead with the transmission of episode four tonight as planned, with the allegations having surfaced less than two hours beforehand, although there is now severe doubt whether ITV will air the final episode on Friday night.

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