17 December 1949
|Education||North Cestrian Grammar School, Altrincham, Greater Manchester|
|Employer||ITV (Granada Television)|
|Known for||Granada Reports
|Criminal charge||Two counts of Indecent sexual assault on two victims|
|Criminal penalty||Five years in prison|
Frederick "Fred" Talbot (born 17 December 1949) is a British former teacher and television presenter. Talbot spent much of his career in the north west of England. In February 2015, he was found guilty of indecent sexual assault against two teenage boys at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys. He was sentenced to five years in prison the following month.
Born in Edinburgh, Talbot was a pupil at North Cestrian Grammar School and in 1964, a founding member of the Altrincham and District Astronomical Society. He co-discovered a meteor shower, the June Lyrids, in June 1966.
After teacher training in Gateshead in the late 1960s, Talbot taught biology at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys until May 1984, when his teaching career came to "an abrupt end" following an indecent proposal he made to two pupils at his home.
At the time of his dismissal, Talbot was also recording a weekly astronomy programme for radio. In 1984, he began presenting for the regional news programme Granada Reports in North West England. Granada Television later commissioned Talbot to appear in a general educational science programme for children called The Final Frontier. He continued as a regular reporter for Granada Reports and became a weatherman for the ITV's This Morning in October 1988.
Until production of This Morning was moved from the Albert Dock, Liverpool, to London, Talbot presented weather reports from a large floating map of the British Isles in the dock. He was forced to jump across a gap to go back and forth between Ireland and Britain; crowds often gathered to watch his leap. On one occasion, a diver swam near the map to distract Talbot and on another a streaker swam naked up to the map and jumped on.
Talbot also presented several regional feature series for ITV Granada, including Locks and Quays and Wainwright Country before returning to weather presenting with Granada Reports in February 2009. He also contributed to the CITV science series Prove It! and guest presented weather forecasts for the ITV Breakfast programme Daybreak.
In December 2012, Greater Manchester Police carried out a search of Talbot's home in Bowdon, when allegations first emerged of abuse at Altrincham Grammar School between the early 1970s and early 1980s. A day before the search, Talbot posted on his Twitter account that he was on a holiday cruise in the Atlantic Ocean. He did not return to his role at ITV Granada upon his return to the UK, but was not suspended.
In April 2013, police arrested Talbot, who refused to answer interview questions about allegations by men who claimed they had been abused as children. Following a re-arrest in December 2013, he was charged with ten historical sexual offences, followed by an eleventh charge for a further sexual assault in June 2014.
His trial began in January 2015, accused of abusing four former pupils at Altrincham Grammar School and a fifth schoolboy from the Newcastle area, during a canal boat holiday in the 1970s. Witnesses included Stone Roses lead singer Ian Brown, a former pupil of Talbot's at Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, who swore under oath that Talbot showed his class gay pornographic films. Evidence was also provided by Talbot's extensive diaries, which noted his sexual activity. Found guilty of indecent assault against two teenage boys at the school, he was acquitted of eight further charges. Immediately remanded in custody bearing in mind Talbot's "abuse of trust", sentencing was adjourned until 13 March 2015. With reporting restrictions lifted, it was noted that a number of similar complaints against Talbot have since been passed by police to the Procurator Fiscal about alleged offences said to have been committed in Scotland. During the trial, Talbot said he knew at fourteen that he is homosexual.
On 13 March 2015, Judge Timothy Mort sentenced Talbot to five years in prison. Talbot was told that he must serve at least two and a half years in prison before he can be considered for release on licence.
Talbot appeared in court on 11 March 2016, where he faced ten fresh charges of indecent assault dating from 1968 to 1981 and two charges of breach of the peace. He did not enter a plea during the hearing.
In 1998, Talbot was named 'Weatherman of the Year' at the Annual International Weather Festival in Paris.
In 2007 Talbot was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science by Manchester Metropolitan University in recognition of bringing to a mass audience a better understanding of scientific and environmental issues.