EMBATTLED entertainer Rolf Harris has made a rare public appearance on the eve of answering bail again over historical sex abuse allegations.
The Australian singer-songwriter became emotional on stage when thanking fans for their support at the Wickham Festival in Hampshire.
The 83-year-old welcomed his audience with a loud “G’day” before expressing his gratitude for the strong turnout.
Clearly emotional in the face of the cheering crowd, he stumbled over his words.
“Just before I go any further I would just like to thank you all for my support … for your support,” Harris said on Sunday night.
“I didn’t say it very well, but you know what I mean. Thank you for your support, I will always wear it.”
Harris drew over 2500 festival goers to the main stage of the event.
Fans of all ages joined him in singing his classics, including Two Little Boys, Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport, Sun Arise and signature cover Stairway to Heaven.
Answering screams of “I love you Rolf” from a male fan while introducing Waltzing Matilda, Harris responded: “I don’t know what I’m talking about now. Images of you loving me are all through my head.”
Returning to stage for an encore in a blue dinner jacket – decorated with clouds to compliment his bright pink shirt – the Australian sung a British version of Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport to the melody of Land of Hope and Glory.
Harris was named earlier this year as the Australian entertainer arrested in late March by officers from Operation Yewtree, which was established following the Jimmy Savile scandal.
The 83-year-old was bailed until May and then again until early August “pending further inquiries”.
Harris, first questioned in November 2012, has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing.
UK police officers have travelled to Australia to interview two women about sex abuse allegations.
Harris last appeared on stage in mid-May. That show in Bristol was the only other time the performer has commented publicly since his arrest.
Operation Yewtree was established after a TV documentary aired allegations that former BBC disc jockey Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84, sexually abused countless children.
Harris’s arrest was not connected to the specific allegations against Savile.
It was revealed in May that Harris’ brother Bruce had written to a friend declaring: “I believe it’ll all be dropped.”
“But it’s not easy,” Bruce Harris wrote.
“He’s holed up at home to avoid journalists.” – AAP