BBC to pay Cliff Richard almost €960,000 in costs following court case

The broadcaster has been ordered to pay the money within 14 days

BBC to pay Cliff Richard almost €960,000 in costs following court case

Cliff Richard speaks outside the Rolls Building in London where he was awarded damages after winning his High Court privacy battle against the BBC | Image: Victoria Jones/PA Wire/PA Images

The BBC has agreed to pay singer Cliff Richard stg£850,000 (€956,316) in costs, a substantial increase on the stg£210,000 (€236,245) damages already awarded to the singer in the landmark privacy case.

The broadcaster has been ordered to pay the money within 14 days.

BBC bosses are now seeking to appeal the UK High Court judge's original decision, which they say could damage press freedoms.

The 77-year-old star sued the broadcaster following its coverage of a South Yorkshire Police raid on his home in Berkshire in August 2014.

Officers were investigating an allegation of historic child sex abuse against him, which Richard has always denied.

He was never arrested or charged with any offence.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Mann said the BBC had infringed the celebrity's privacy rights in a "serious and sensationalist way".

File photo of media outside the Charters Estate in Sunningdale, Berkshire, where police searched Cliff Richard's apartment | Image: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

He awarded stg£190,000 (€213,760) in general damages to cover "the general effect on Sir Cliff and his life", plus an additional stg£20,000 (€22,502) in aggravated damages, due to the fact the BBC later submitted the story for an award.

Richard - who said he was left in "creative limbo" for two years following the raid - is understood to no longer be seeking indemnity (such as loss of earnings) from the BBC.

He has previously said the case cost him stg£3.4m (€3.82m).

South Yorkshire Police previously settled a damages claim with Richard out of court, agreeing to pay him stg£400,000 (€450,043).

To be granted the right to appeal, the BBC must now convince Mr Justice Mann, or alternatively a Court of Appeal judge, that they have a realistic chance of overturning the original ruling.

BBC bosses have submitted a written application for permission, and Mr Justice Mann has said he will hear oral arguments later on Thursday.