BBC team works round the clock on Panorama expose of Jimmy Savile
The BBC is aiming to rush a special edition of Panorama into its schedules looking into issues surrounding Jimmy Savile’s years of abuse.
BBC1 chiefs are preparing to drop the planned edition of the investigative programme on Monday to slot in the Savile programme, with staff working all weekend to deliver it in time.
They are said to be determined to ensure there are no delays following criticism over a proposed Newsnight investigation into the late TV presenter that was shelved last year.
The BBC has consistently denied the report was dropped because it would have been at odds with celebratory tribute programmes which were also in the pipeline, although an independent inquiry is being launched to look into the issue, led by former Sky News executive Nick Pollard.
BBC1 boss Danny Cohen is aiming to broadcast the programme on Monday if the production team can deliver it by then, and may consider moving other programmes, such as drama New Tricks, if the programme runs longer than the half-hour 8:30pm slot in the schedule.
Tom Giles, editor of Panorama, said: “We are working hard to ensure that the programme is ready as soon as possible.”
The published schedule has an investigation into gambling, presented by Sophie Raworth, pencilled in for this Monday.
Yesterday, former BBC director-general Greg Dyke criticised the corporation’s response to the Savile scandal.
He said the BBC should “have moved very quickly” to explain why a Newsnight report about allegations of sexual abuse by the late DJ was dropped.
Giving a lecture at Kingston University’s Business School, he said: “Someone had to explain why they took a decision not to do it because otherwise it left them looking suspicious and it looked like they’d been leaned on because the BBC wanted to run two specials about Jimmy Savile, which I don’t believe would have happened.”
He said he had turned down an invitation to appear on the show and advised programme makers to interview their editor instead.
Mr Dyke said: “And of course, nobody came on from the BBC and that was a big mistake. Someone should have gone on and said ‘These are the editorial reasons’. Either ‘the lawyers said it didn’t stand up’, which happens all the time, or that ‘we thought the damage it would do to this man’s reputation, given the one case we had, wasn’t worth it’ or something like that.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 17 C
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Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
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