Hall initially denied the allegations, but then admitted he had abused and molested girls over a two-decade period. His attacks included groping a nine-year-old girl and kissing a 13-year-old girl on the lips after saying to her “People need to show thanks in other ways.”

The TV presenter was described as an “opportunistic predator” by Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor

His lawyer, Crispin Aylett QC, told Preston crown court: “He is only too aware his disgrace is complete.”

Hall was charged with those offences when he was arrested by Lancashire police on 5 December. Publicity surrounding his arrest led to more victims coming forward, reports The Guardian, and he was subsequently charged with abusing 10 more girls and with the rape of a 22-year-old woman.

The BBC said the investigation into Hall would be separate from an existing inquiry into sexual abuse by the late presenter Jimmy Savile. But the findings of the Hall investigation will feed into the wider inquiry.

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