Stuart Hall
Stuart Hall receiving his OBE last year

Veteran BBC broadcaster Stuart Hall is to appear in court charged with the indecent assault of three girls.

The former sports reporter, 83, will appear at Preston Magistrates' Court on Monday 7 January to face three charges that he assaulted the girls, aged eight, 13 and 17 years, between 1974 and 1984.

The charges allege that Hall indecently assaulted a woman aged 16 or 17 years between September and December 1974; that he indecently assaulted a girl aged eight or nine in 1983; and that he indecently assaulted a 13-year-old girl between July and September 1984.

The charges are not believed to be connected to the Metropolitan Police's ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against Jimmy Savile and others, codenamed Operation Yewtree.

Hall was arrested in a dawn raid on Wednesday 2 January at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, where he lives with his wife of 44 years, Hazel, 74. Police conducted a six-hour search of the property following his arrest.

Hall, who hosted the family TV show It's A Knockout and worked as a sports presenter for Radio 5 Live, was in 2012 awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year's honours list for services to broadcasting and charity.

BBC Radio 5 Live has confirmed that he will not work for them as long as the police investigation is ongoing.

Hall has strenuously denied the charges. His solicitor, Louise Straw, said after his arrest: "Stuart Hall is ­innocent. There will be a trial and his defence will then be in the public domain."