BBC scraps teen models show as Jimmy Savile row grows
Documentary on sexual exploitation cancelled as director-general faces grilling by MPs
A documentary exposing the abuse and sexual exploitation of under-age models was withdrawn from the BBC's schedule amid heightened sensitivities over the Jimmy Savile affair.
The Storyville film, Girl Model, which was due to be shown on BBC2 on Wednesday night, followed a 13-year-old girl on her journey from Siberia to Tokyo, where she had been promised a career as a model.
The documentary was described as an unflinching exposé of the shocking supply of ever-younger girls to the Japanese modelling industry.
It was previously screened on BBC4 in June, but the corporation said it had been dropped the from BBC2 schedule "in the light of sensitivities surrounding recent events".
The last-minute decision to cancel the film reflects an atmosphere of caution at the BBC following allegations that Savile lured under-age girls by promising them audience tickets for his shows and then assaulted them on BBC premises.
The BBC has also removed from its schedules repeat episodes of Top Of The Pops presented by Savile and an episode of documentary series The Story Of Light Entertainment, in which he featured prominently.
George Entwistle, the BBC director-general, faces potential embarrassment after it emerged that a Panorama investigation into the affair could be aired the night before he is questioned by MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on Tuesday.
Meirion Jones, a former senior Newsnight journalist who worked on the dropped report, is understood to be masterminding a Panorama investigation which will look at the conduct of BBC presenters past and present.
Mr Entwistle's actions could be scrutinised by Panorama. He was the BBC's head of television when the Newsnight investigation was shelved and has been criticised for allowing the corporation to broadcast tributes to Savile without inquiring about the details of the Newsnight report.
However, BBC executives are considering whether Panorama's pre-watershed slot and 30-minute running time are appropriate for what would be one of the most closely scrutinised broadcasts in its history.
Michael Crick, the Channel 4 News chief political correspondent and former Newsnight political editor, said the proposed timing of the Panorama was a "huge problem" for Entwistle.
The select committee will ask the BBC boss about the two independent reviews he has set up to examine failings in the BBC's management of the Newsnight investigation, and whether the culture of the BBC enabled Savile's abuse to continue unchecked.
The Department of Health is also conducting an investigation into Savile's conduct during his charity work at three hospitals – Stoke Mandeville, Broadmoor and Leeds General Infirmary.
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
- 5 Watch Richard Dawkins read his own hatemail: 'I hope you do get sodomised by satanic monkeys in hell'
Mr Selfridge series 3: Actress Kara Tointon says 'we're starting to see his demise'
Ed Sheeran texts Noel Gallagher to offer him tickets after Wembley Stadium rant
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
Emma Watson to play Belle in Beauty and the Beast
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now