UK arrest
Rolf Harris in Perth in 2006. Picture: Bill Hatto/The West Australian

Rolf Harris is the Australian entertainer that was arrested on suspicion of sex offences, a British newspaper reports.

The former Boy from Bassendean was held in relation to investigations into the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Police stressed his arrest was not connected to the specific allegations made against Savile.

"Senior detectives have been investigating Harris, who once painted the Queen, for more than four months," the Sun said.

On March 29, British police officers investigating possible widespread abuse following the Jimmy Savile sex scandal arrested Mr Harris but said they would not name him unless he was subsequently charged.

Mr Harris was bailed until May pending further police inquiries.

He was the 11th person to have been arrested as a result of Operation Yewtree.

Operation Yewtree was established after a TV documentary alleged former BBC disc jockey Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84, sexually abused countless children over decades.

A MET spokesman said there were three categories of people subject to the investigation: Savile himself, people close to the presenter and “others”.

Mr Harris is in the last category which “is generally people who were in the public spotlight at around that time”, the spokesman said last month.

He reportedly moved out of his Berkshire home and into a London flat to avoid press scrutiny.

Mr Harris was first interviewed under caution in late November 2012, five days after a search warrant was executed at his home.

An unnamed friend said this month that he feared [au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/16481462/fears-for-aussie-amid-savile-sex-scandal/ his friend's life had been ruined], even if he was never charged.

The Sun today said it understood that Mr Harris vehemently denied any wrongdoing.


Boy from Bassendean

Rolf Harris was born in 1930 and grew up in Perth but has spent most of his life living in Britain after achieving television stardom there in the 1950s.

As a teenager he was a swimming champion before turning to art. He attended Perth Modern School and as 16-year-old had a self-portrait entered in the Archibald Prize.

Mr Harris' talents as a comic performer moved him into music and from the 1950s he achieved fame with a string of hits, including Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport and Jake the Peg.

His television career continued on and off in Britain into the 21st century with the popular Animal Hospital and a special, Rolf's Animal Clinic, as well as other special appearances.

Mr Harris was commissioned to paint a portrait of Queen Elizabeth for her 80th birthday, which was unveiled in 2005 to mixed reviews.

His work has been hung in London's National Gallery.


Operation Yewtree

A police investigation concluded earlier this year that British TV presenter Jimmy Savile was a predatory sex offender who abused youngsters as young as eight over more than 50 years, using his fame to rape and assault victims on BBC premises, in schools and hospitals.

The scandal has escalated leading to the arrests of singer Gary Glitter, comedians Freddie Starr and Jim Davidson and radio presenter Stuart Hall.

The West Australian

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