A former UK television star has accused actor Craig McLachlan of groping her live on air when he was a guest on her popular children's show in 1990.
- Craig McLachlan was a soap star with a hit single in the UK when he appeared on the children's TV show
- TV host Jeanne Downs says she decided to go public after Mr McLachlan's recent interview on Channel 7
- Mr McLachlan denies any wrongdoing, saying Ms Downs's claim is false
Mr McLachlan says the claim is "false, uncorroborated and never the subject of a complaint".
Jeanne Downs was the face of Children's ITV, a British free-to-air children's television channel later known as CITV, between 1989 and 1991.
Ms Downs presented television shows live every weekday afternoon with her sidekick Scally the puppet dog.
In May 1990, Mr McLachlan was a guest on her show, which was watched by millions of children across Britain.
At the time, 24-year-old Mr McLachlan had starred in Australian soap operas Neighbours and Home and Away and had a hit single Mona with his band Check 1-2.
Ms Downs, then 23, had been in what she has described as her "dream job" for about a year.
The pair were live on air for about two hours, with segments before and after each of the scheduled programs.
Footage shows Mr McLachlan and Ms Downs were seated closely next to each other, to fit into a single camera shot.
"Part way through the show, we were all in mid-conversation live on air," Ms Downs said.
"Suddenly, Craig forced his hand right under my bottom and pushed hard into my private middle area. I was wearing black leggings which were made of fairly thin material. The strong action of his hand under my bottom was very much felt intimately.
"It was only for a second or two and I almost let out a shriek, but I was on live TV and could not do or say anything — this is children's TV and I had millions of little kids watching me.
"It was totally out of the blue and I was so shocked and stunned.
"I turned to him, still speaking, and I feel sure I had a weird, puzzled look, being pretty stunned at what just happened. Craig didn't flinch and just carried on as normal, as though nothing had happened.