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Sir Cliff Richard: Police admit 'working' with BBC after controversy over televised home search

Sir Cliff Richard

South Yorkshire Police has admitted it "worked with" the BBC before searching Sir Cliff Richard's home over an allegation of child abuse.

The force has been challenged as to how a BBC helicopter came to be on the scene to broadcast live footage of officers arriving at the singer's home with a search warrant.

In a statement, it said it had been approached by BBC journalists with information about an investigation, and defended the media's involvement in the story.

"Since the search took place a number of people have contacted the police to provide information and we must acknowledge that the media played a part in that, for which we are grateful," South Yorkshire Police said.

Sir Cliff, who denies the allegation against him as "completely false", was in Portugal when police searched his home on Thursday and said the media had been told it was happening before him.

Conservative MP Nigel Evans said there were questions to answer as to why that happened.

He told Good Morning Britain: "It appears the press knew what was happening before he did.

"A press helicopter was up before the police even arrived - he is quite right to be angry about that. Questions have got to be answered."

The BBC said it had been made aware of the search after an independent tip-off.

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