ABC (Australia) star Andy Muirhead faces child porn charges, taken off air

Updated: 12 Jun 2010
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ABC star Andy Muirhead has been taken off air while he faces child porn charges.


ABC television and radio personality Andy Muirhead has been charged with accessing child pornography.

The host of The Collectors has taken leave and the popular Friday night television show has been removed from the schedule indefinitely.

Australian Federal Police detectives questioned Mr Muirhead for several hours at Hobart police headquarters on Tuesday before charging him with using the internet to access child pornography.

An AFP spokeswoman said officers searched the Sandy Bay home of a 34-year-old man on Tuesday and seized computer equipment.

She said the man was charged and released on bail.

Mr Muirhead has not hosted his regular breakfast show on ABC Local Radio in Hobart since Tuesday.

He could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

The complaint lodged with the Hobart Magistrates Court accuses Andrew Robert Muirhead, 34, of Quayle St, Sandy Bay, of using a carriage service for child pornography material between May 15 and June 8 this year.

It is alleged he intentionally used a carriage service to access child pornography and that he was reckless as to whether it was child pornography.

Mr Muirhead will face court in Hobart on August 2.

An ABC spokeswoman said Mr Muirhead had taken leave without pay.

"The ABC was notified late yesterday [Thursday] by his management that Andy Muirhead had been charged with a serious offence," she said.

"Mr Muirhead will not present The Collectors on ABC TV or the breakfast program on ABC Local Radio in Tasmania pending the outcome of the legal proceedings.

"The Collectors program will be off air until further notice."

The ABC pulled last night's Collectors show and cancelled a recording session scheduled for Brisbane this weekend.

The program's website was also taken down and the show was deleted from the ABC's iView website.

Mr Muirhead is also a stand-up comedian and a sought-after compere for conferences and other events.

The University of Tasmania science graduate grew up in country Victoria and moved to Hobart with his family.

Several years ago he left his job as a biologist to pursue a career in entertainment.

He has been a regular performer at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

The charge he faces is a Commonwealth offence because it allegedly involves the use of a carriage service, namely the internet.


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