Entwistle: "I'm convinced I've done all the right things"


The BBC Director-General maintained that he has acted entirely properly over the Jimmy Savile affair despite acknowledging that he was aware that Newsnight had been planning an investigation into the entertainer before it was dropped.

George Entwistle said the allegations against the  personality, named by police as a “predatory sex offender”, were “horrifying”.

Last year, Mr Entwistle, along with Helen Boaden, BBC director of news, had been alerted to  the Newsnight investigation  into Savile.

The proposed report was particularly sensitive since the corporation was planning a series of Christmas tribute shows to the star, who died  last October.

Mr Entwistle, who was then head of the BBC’s television channels, said he did not delve further into the details of Newsnight’s planned report. “I had no idea what the nature of the investigation was,” Mr Entwistle said. “We’re setting up an internal investigation and that will establish what  did happen.”

Asked whether he thought the BBC response had been correct, he told ITV News: “Yes, we went straight to the police with this as soon as we had a sense of the scale of what had been going on.”

Asked whether he believed he had acted appropriately throughout, he said: “I’m entirely convinced that I’ve done all the right things, yes, yes.”

The BBC faces claims that senior executives knew about the sex abuse claims but failed  to act against one of the  corporation’s most powerful personalities.

Jim Moir, a BBC entertainment executive who was in charge of Jim’ll Fix It and Top of the Pops in the 1980s, said he never received any complaint or warning about Savile’s  behaviour towards  under-age girls.

Jonathan Powell, the  controller of BBC1 from 1987 to 1993, also said he had never heard of any complaints.

A woman has come forward to tell producers of the ITV  documentary which finally exposed Savile that she was abused by a further well-known media figure when she was  a child.

The television personality who is still alive has not been named. Singer Gary Glitter, 68, has been connected to the scandal. Comic Freddie Starr, 69, has vigorously denied accusations he molested a girl in Savile’s BBC dressing room when she was 14.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own