John Leslie was sexually assaulted by women who threw themselves at him in bars – but he would just "laugh it off", a court heard.
TV stars Anthea Turner, Fern Britton, Yvette Fielding and Diane-Louise Jordan gave evidence in support of the presenter who stands accused of groping a charity fundraiser's breasts at a celebrity Christmas party.
They described him as a "gentleman" who they had never seen behave sexually inappropriately with any woman.
Most Haunted star Yvette, 52, who appeared on Blue Peter alongside Leslie, claimed the strapping 6ft 4in presenter had himself frequently been the victim of female gropers.
She said: "He was inundated with lots of ladies.
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"I have seen them throw themselves at him.
"Women go up to him squeezing his bum in bars and clubs.''
Giving evidence to Southwark Crown Court via video link, Yvette, who also appeared on I'm A Celebrity, said Leslie handled the attention "so well".
"He'd just say in his Scottish accent, `Get away from me'. He would laugh it off and move on," she said.
"Never ever have I seen him behave in a disrespectful way to any woman or man.
"I have known him when he was single and in relationships and he has been nothing but a beautiful human being.''
Yvette said she once spent 10 days living in a hut in the African bush with Leslie while filming in Zimbabwe and said he was "nothing but a gentleman and a lovely person".
"He would turn away when I had to change. He averted his eyes when I had to go to the lavatory.
"I considered him to be a brother to me.''
Asked by Leslie's barrister Gudrun Young what she thought about the groping allegation he faces she replied: "I don't believe it for a second."
Fern, 63, who presented This Morning alongside Leslie, told police he had "always received a lot of attention particularly from the ladies".
"He's a very popular, tall and handsome man," she said.
"But I never saw him behave inappropriately."
She said Leslie had dashed on stage to spare co-presenter Judy Finnigan's blushes when her blouse burst open at the National Television Awards in 2000 – exposing her bra to millions of viewers.
Fern said the breast-grope he is alleged to have committed "does not sound like the man I know".
Anthea, 60, told the jury she regularly attended parties with her pal Leslie as his "plus one" when they worked on Blue Peter together and she had never seen him act inappropriately.
"He was the life and soul of the party,'' she said.
"You would dance with him. He would hold you up in the air. I would tell him: 'John, my feet are not on the floor'.
"That's the John we all knew. At the end, he would make sure I was either in a car on my way home or would take me home.
"He was a gent.''
Asked by Ms Young how he acted around women Anthea replied: "I'm a woman and he was always in incredibly respectful towards me.
"At the time Blue Peter was a largely female team and everyone loved him. This Morning was the same.
"If there had been any stories I would know about them and there were none.''
She said it had been "really sad" to see "this amazing person crumble" after he was wrongly identified as the TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson said had raped her.
Afterwards, Anthea said she saw him "completely and utterly capitulate".
"He was constantly worried about where he was, who he was with and on edge,'' she said.
"It was not the person that we all knew.''
Anthea, who also presented National Lottery live draws and GMTV, said the charge he now faced "does not sit at all well with me.
"This is not the man that I know – not at all,'' she said.
"Not one part of me would believe that allegation.''
Diane-Louise, 60, said Leslie was a "gentleman" who had supported her when she joined Blue Peter months after losing her sister.
"It was a particularly bad time for me," she said.
"My life had been turned upside down. He made it so manageable.
"John was a gentleman. He is a larger than life character. He was just a fun and gorgeous person to be around.
"He has that exceptional quality of deep empathy and deep kindness.
"I cannot explain how exceptional and loving he was. He was exceptionally kind."
Diane, who also presented Songs Of Praise, said she shared a room with John had on filming trips and he had always behaved respectfully.
"I would sleep on his shoulder on trains and planes," she said.`
"The reason I am here today – I requested to be here today – is because I feel so strongly about this.
"I have never ever ever seen John behave in any way inappropriately to any woman.
"It just does not sit with the person I know. It's really upsetting to have his career really trashed.
"This exceptionally wonderful living person is like a shell of his former self.
"He second guesses himself all the time because of this. It's destroying someone.''
Earlier under cross-examination, Leslie had told the jury the false sex claims had turned him into a "recluse".
On rare occasions he did go out he would only go "somewhere that was a trusted environment and I felt safe".
Leslie said he went to the celebrity party because he knew people there and hoped to network.
"I was a wounded animal,'' he said.
"It went on and on – 17 years. I'm not recovered. I am not better. I'm not the person I was.
"But there was still the hope that I would get redemption one day and someone would give me a chance.''
Leslie denies a sexual assault in a bar in London's West End in 2008. The alleged victim reported it nine years later at the height of the #MeToo movement.
The trial continues.
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