Operation Yewtree Bingo. It was inevitable really, with the internet the way it is. Pick a few celebrity names, write them on a card/type them into Twitter, and cross them off when they are arrested forÂ alleged sex abuse.Â The game might not be widespread yet, but as the number of arrests continue to rise in the entertainment community, and online rumors catch hold of the guilty and innocent alike, the infant hash tag is ready for a proper electronic breakout.
The latest ‘victim’Â to beÂ checked off the listÂ came Sunday night, as comedian Jimmy TarbuckÂ was taken into custody. Although the arrest wasn’t part of Operation Yewtree, it was to do with alleged historic sex offenses, so Tarbuck’s name is eligible if you’re playing along at home. The 73-year-old Liverpudlian fits the profile of other high profile entertainers linked to sex crimes in recent months, being a breakthrough TV star in the 1960s andÂ holder of a royal award (theÂ OBE).Â I should probably point out that there are alsoÂ plenty of Britons with that profile who haven’t be implicated, despite theÂ trend. TarbuckÂ has been released on bail as police inquiries continue.
The news of Tarbuck’s detention took some of the spotlight off another public figure arrested over the weekend, that of Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans. The 55-year-old Tory MP was questioned after two men claimed to haveÂ been raped and sexually assaulted. Bail was posted, leaving the representative for Ribble Valley free to continue his public role until June 19. Calls for him to be suspended until the police inquiries are concluded were knocked back by the government. The BBC and ITV both suspended high profile employees after similar accusations.
This is the second time the speaker’s office has been linked to a sex case, the first came last year when the Speaker’s wife wrongly outedÂ someone as aÂ pedophile on Twitter. A libel case is ongoing.
This should probably act as a warning to those playing Yewtree Bingo in a public forum. A hash tag probably won’t save you from a civil suit. Best keep those game cards private, at least until the practice goes nationwide.