Former This Morning presenter John Leslie faces sexual assault charge

Former TV presenter John Leslie has appeared in court charged with sexual assault.

The ex-Blue Peter and This Morning star, 54, is accused of committing the assault in Westminster in December 2008, when the complainant was 30.

Scotland Yard said Leslie, from Edinburgh, was charged with sexual touching of a woman by postal requisition on June 5.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday where he denied the offence.

Leslie elected to be tried by a jury at the crown court rather than at magistrates court, despite the offence being deemed appropriate to be decided by a district judge.

Prosecutor Jocelyn Ledward described the charge as “a simple allegation of a brief sexual touching over clothing”.

District Judge Emma Arbuthnot listed the case for a plea and trial preparation hearing at Southwark Crown Court on August 22.

She granted Leslie unconditional bail until that date.

Leslie, real name John Stott, joined Blue Peter in 1989 and remained with the show until 1994.

In 1998 he took over from Bradley Walsh as the main presenter of game show Wheel Of Fortune, before joining This Morning a year later.

He was replaced on the morning show by Phillip Schofield in 2002.

Between 2012 and 2016, Leslie had short stints as a radio DJ in Scotland with Castle FM and Bauer Radio.

He appeared in the dock in a grey suit and striped tie.