Jimmy Savile investigation: Savile ‘too creepy’ for Children in Need says former BBC governor
THE former governor of BBC Wales has revealed he blocked Jimmy Savile from being involved with corporate charity Children in Need because he found the disgraced television presenter “creepy”.
Retired BBC executive Sir Roger Jones – a former chairman of Children in Need – yesterday claimed that Savile had been banned from the charity’s annual fundraiser over rumours about his interest in young girls.
Mr Jones said: “We all recognised he was a creepy sort of character.
“And when I was with Children in Need, we took the decision that we didn’t want him near the charity.
“We stepped up our child-protection policies, which again would have put him at great risk if he tried anything.
“A charity like Children In Need knew the biggest thing to guard against was paedophiles. They were just like flies around the honey pot.”
Sir Roger, who served as a BBC governor from 1996 to 2002, said he did not have the evidence at the time to report the Jim’ll Fix It host to management at the corporation.
The revelation came to light as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said heads would need to roll at the BBC if it was discovered that abuse carried out at its studios was ignored.
Mr Clegg said: “Serious questions need to be asked and if after we find out what’s happened it’s clear that people have turned a blind eye or, worse still, connived with it then of course they’re going to have to be held to account.”
An investigation was launched yesterday into the BBC’s “culture and practices” during Savile’s career.
Led by the former Court of Appeal judge Dame Janet Smith, the inquiry will also determine whether the broadcaster’s child protection and whistle-blowing policies are up to scratch.
Yesterday’s inquiry began a year to the day since Savile died, aged 84, and a day after former pop star Gary Glitter was arrested and bailed until mid-December by police investigating the Savile scandal.
Scotland Yard’s commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, said abuse allegations made against Savile while he was alive could have been linked to show “a pattern of behaviour”.
He said police and other organisations had not “put together” claims made against the BBC personality.
Members of the public may also have been discouraged from taking action because of Savile’s reputation, Mr Hogan-Howe said.
“You might have thought that people would at least have talked about it and intervened,” the commissioner said.
“It does look as if from time to time people have been concerned, they’ve made the start to intervene, but probably then they’ve relied a little bit too much on his reputation and his word that he did nothing.
“If you accept all the public accounts of the activity then it’s [the abuse] possibly spanned 50 years, which is a huge amount of time.”
Four police forces were contacted by seven potential victims while Savile was alive. Surrey, Sussex and Jersey all found that there was not enough evidence to proceed.
Two potential victims came forward to Scotland Yard; one claimed she had been abused in the 1970s, but did not want to pursue a criminal investigation.
Officers are trying to find the original file relating to a second report made by a woman who claimed she was assaulted in the 1980s.
So far, about 300 potential victims have been identified, with Met officers following more than 400 lines of inquiry.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east