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8 January 2006
By Heather Greenaway

THE first love of John Leslie has defended the shamed TV star.

Leslie interviews Jane Wilkie, 40, in a TV show about his childhood to analyse his attitude to women and sex.

The former This Morning presenter has struggled to revive his TV career after a series of sordid sex and drugs allegations.

Jane insists he never learned how to handle women after suddenly going from a teenage geek to sex god.

She said Leslie only realised his effect on women when he became a DJ at 16.

She said: "He was tall, geekish, musical and different from everyone. That's why I liked him. He dressed in grey with a tie. There was never anything about him. He was like wallpaper.

"At school, girls didn't give him any attention. Then, in his DJ booth, he was swarmed. It must have been difficult.

"Being a DJ was a rollercoaster for him as he went from no girls noticing him to being swarmed by them."

Jane, who is now married with children, realised he had a crush on her when she was always the only girl at his parties.

When he was 16, Leslie discovered Coasters, a rollerskating disco in Edinburgh, where he launched his DJ career.

He said: "Girls were placing themselves in front of me... in certain circumstances, I did not act like a gentleman."

Leslie, 40, relives his past two years with family and friends in the documentary with psychologist Dr Linda Treliving.

He said: "I've been with a lot of women but not necessarily understood them."

The former Blue Peter star's sex life came under scrutiny in 2003 after claims he was the mystery man who TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson alleged had raped her.

He was later cleared of another sex attack but lost his TV job after he was pictured snorting cocaine.

His then girlfriend, nurse Abi Titmuss, stood by him.

Leslie talks about the strong influence of his mum Lexia.

He said: "I only ever brought three girls home when I was young and only two since becoming an adult. She only liked one."

Leslie admitted he loved actress Catherine Zeta Jones, insisting: "I have only been in love once in my life, with Catherine ... and she was in love with me."

His parents admit they were devastated by the Ulrika allegations.

Father Les, 65, said: "We went down a dark, dark road. John phoned and said, 'Look, dad, I have been put in the frame for this.' I asked him what for and he said, 'Raping Ulrika.'"

Lexia, 65, added: "I am sad about the situation John finds himself in now."

My Childhood is on BBC Three tonight at 10pm.


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