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SEX LETTERS TO ANNA WERE FULL OF THREATS; Obsessed fan hounds her.

TERRIFIED newsreader Anna Ford had received a string of sexually explicit letters in the weeks before a stalker turned up on her doorstep.

She told police the notes from a twisted admirer contained threats and recently took on a more urgent tone.

And a man who turned up at her home this week handed over more sinister letters to the BBC presenter.

They too were thought to be of a sexual nature.

The drama began on Wednesday evening when the man appeared at the doorstep of 56-year-old Anna's home in west London.

After handing over the bundle of notes he tried to barge his way into the house.

But quick-thinking Anna slammed the door and immediately called the police. A 46-year-old man was yesterday arrested at his home in Hounslow, west London, over the incident.

He was also quizzed by detectives probing the murder of Crimewatch presenter Jill Dando.

Jill, 37, was shot dead on the doorstep of her home in Fulham - five mile away from where Anna lives. Police believe she may have been killed by a crazed fan.

One CID source said last night: "The Dando murder team have been informed about the arrest.

"They want to know more about this man, like if he has a gun or has ever had access to guns. He also lives within 15 minutes from where Jill was killed."

\Last night two uniformed police officers stood guard outside widow Anna's pounds 750,000 home.

Friends said she is most concerned about the safety of her daughters Claire, 17, and Katie, 15, who live in the house.

Despite her ordeal, Anna turned up to read the One O'Clock News yesterday as usual.

Programme editor Jay Hunt said: "She was very calm. We talked about it briefly then she got on with the job with her usual professionalism."

A BBC News insider added last night: "The man turned up at Anna's house. She passed the information to the police and gave them two statements.

"Anna does not want to make any further comment.

"The BBC takes the safety of all its staff very seriously and will be offering Anna its full support."

Six O'Clock News anchorman Huw Edwards said: "These things are a reminder to all those in public life to take care."

Anna arrived home last night refusing to speak to reporters.

It is not the first time she has been the target of unwanted attention.

Last September an intruder broke into the BBC newsroom at White City while Anna was preparing to go on air and screamed: "I'm going to kill you."

And in 1997 she was branded a "Jewish sympathiser" by race-hate thugs.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 11, 2000
Words:443
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