TV presenter Matthew Kelly was arrested last night by police investigating allegations of sexual abuse against young boys.

The 52-year-old Stars in Their Eyes host was arrested by Surrey police in Birmingham and was last night being held in connection with "historic allegations" of sexual abuse against boys under 16.

A second man, in his late 50s, was also arrested in connection with the same allegations at his home in Edinburgh.

A police spokesman said: "One man has been taken to a Surrey Police station where he will be held overnight and is due to be questioned tomorrow. The second man is being held in a police station local to his address overnight and will be questioned tomorrow.

"A number of addresses are being searched in connection with the arrests."

Police said the arrests were not connected to Operation Ore, a US Postal investigation into Internet child pornography.

A spokeswoman for Granada, which makes Stars In Their Eyes, said: "Granada is not making any comment or statement on this issue this evening."

It is understood Kelly was arrested at 6pm, at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, where he has been appearing as Captain Hook in Peter Pan, which is due to run until Saturday.

It is believed he was taken to a police station in Guildford where he was being held overnight before being questioned by officers this morning.

A spokesman for Surrey Police said that the two men were the first to be arrested in connection with the inquiry.

Kelly is one of light entertainment's most famous faces, the northern frontman for what he calls the "Rolls Royce" of Saturday evening television, Stars In Their Eyes.

But he has admitted that he is uncomfortable with celebrity.

He told the actors' newspaper, The Stage, in an interview last October that he found being famous "a pain".

"After you've said hello there is nothing to talk about because they don't know me," he said. "Nobody really knows me. Ever since I was little I was a friendly soul.

"I used to smile at complete strangers in the street and I'd be hurt if they didn't smile back.

"Now of course, everybody wants to say hello and I'm not really interested, which is ironic isn't it?"

Married with two adult children, he divides his time between homes in Cheshire, where his wife, Sarah, lives, and Chiswick, west London.

He became a household name in 1981 on Game For A Laugh, the British equivalent of the US series Candid Camera, which he presented with Sarah Kennedy, Henry Kelly and Jeremy Beadle.

Further television presenting work was to follow including You Bet! for LWT between 1990 and 1995 before he landed Stars In Their Eyes in 1993.

But although the programme, in which members of the public mimic pop stars, made him an instantly recognisable face across the country, his first love is the stage.

Born in Manchester on May 9, 1950, Matthew Kelly left school at 16 and was determined to go into showbusiness after seeing a pantomime at the age of six.

His first job, at the age of 17, was making custard pies for Mr Pastry, the BBC's resident clown and the forerunner of children's comedy on television.

In the 1970s, he began acting in repertory, progressing to the Liverpool Everyman at the same time as established performers such as Julie Walters, Pete Poselthwaite, and Kevin Lloyd.

Appearances soon followed in London's West End before he landed the television roles for which he is now best known.

But he has still found time to tread the boards.

Most recently, he has appeared in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.