BBC staff knew about Savile but were scared to report it

More than 100 employees said they had heard about Savile's sexual misconduct. Picture: TSPL
More than 100 employees said they had heard about Savile's sexual misconduct. Picture: TSPL
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Another “predatory child abuser” could be lurking at the BBC today, a leaked draft of a report into sex abuse by DJ Jimmy Savile warns.

The review condemns the BBC over its “deferential culture” and “untouchable stars”, and for having managers who were “above the law”.

BBC director-general Tony Hall said Dame Janet Smith’s review will be “invaluable” in helping it learn from the past and ensure a “dark chapter” in its history is not repeated.

Rapes, indecent assaults on boys and girls, and “inappropriate sexual conduct” with teenagers over 16 were all “in some way associated with the BBC”, the draft report states, adding that three of Savile’s victims were only nine.

The report also warns it was possible another “predatory child abuser could be lurking undiscovered in the BBC”.

Incidents occurred at “virtually every one of the BBC premises” in which Savile worked, the report said, and more than 100 employees said they had heard about Savile’s sexual misconduct.

But they were scared to report it to managers, the draft report, published by news website Exaro, states. Investigations into allegations of sexual assault were “wholly inadequate”, and the BBC was criticised for failing to properly examine his personality, despite rumours about him and his work with children.

Retired judge Dame Janet accepted denials from senior bosses that they were aware of his sexual activity and she does not criticise the BBC for not discovering the abuse. She does condemn it for its culture, saying: “My general impression is that most staff (other than those in the higher echelons) felt that the management culture was too deferential and that some executives were ‘above the law’.”

The BBC’s “talent” was held in “awe” by most staff, who treated them “deferentially”, she said, adding: “It would be a brave person indeed who would make a complaint against such a person.”

A statement on the Dame Janet Smith Review website said the leaked report was out of date and had been changed considerably. It is due out in six weeks.