I saw Jimmy Savile and Gary Glitter abuse girls at BBC, says woman

Corporation under pressure after victim says she first told her story to Newsnight team

A woman has claimed she saw Sir Jimmy Savile and the glam rocker Gary Glitter both sexually abusing under-age girls at the same time in Savile's dressing room at the BBC Television Centre.

Karin Ward, who also says she was abused by another television star in the same room when she was 14, waived her anonymity yesterday to make the allegations. She first told her story to a BBC Newsnight team but the report was never broadcast.

Ms Ward has now been interviewed for an ITV documentary that will be screened tonight. In it, she says: "I told Newsnight that I saw Gary Glitter have sex with a girl in Jimmy Savile's dressing room … in that little alcove bit. I didn't see it completely but that's what was going on and nobody batted an eyelid. I also told them that I was horribly, horribly humiliated."

In 1999, Glitter, now 68, was sentenced to four months in jail and listed as a sex offender for child pornography offences in Britain. He was later deported from Cambodia for suspected child abuse, and then sentenced to three years in a Vietnamese jail for committing obscene acts with girls aged 10 and 11.

The ITV1 documentary, Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, to be shown at 11.10pm tonight, will accuse Savile of a catalogue of sexual abuse involving young girls.

As a result, the BBC – which recently dropped the Newsnight report into the claims of 10 women who said they were assaulted by Savile – is facing renewed pressure over its handling of the affair. The corporation said yesterday that it would contact police to offer its full co-operation and open its files for any investigation.

The issue is the first big crisis facing the new BBC director-general, George Entwistle. Newsnight's report about Savile was dropped by BBC2's programmes editor, Peter Rippon, despite protests from journalists who worked on the story and interviewed witnesses. Ms Ward says she was notified it was not being broadcast by text message.

John Whittingdale, the Conservative MP for Maldon and chairman of the Commons Media Select Committee, said that his panel intended to question Mr Entwistle about the decision to drop the Newsnight report.

Michael Grade, who was BBC chairman from 2004 to 2006, told Channel 4 News last night that he heard rumours about Savile's conduct while he was controller of BBC One, but said any suggestion of a cover-up by the corporation was ludicrous.

He added: "I never heard anything that gave me cause to think we should investigate it. There were questions, but the entertainment industry is awash on a sea of rumours."

A BBC spokesman said yesterday: "A number of serious and disturbing allegations have been made about the sexual abuse of teenage girls by Jimmy Savile. Some allegations relate to activity on BBC premises in the 1960s and 70s.

"We are horrified by allegations that anything of this sort could have happened at the BBC, or have been carried out by anyone working for the BBC… so we have today asked the BBC investigations unit to make direct contact with all the police forces in receipt of allegations and offer to help them investigate these matters and provide full support to any lines of inquiry."

It also emerged yesterday that police in Jersey investigated Savile over claims that he sexually assaulted a girl at a children's home which later became the centre of an abuse inquiry. In 2008, a woman made a formal complaint that Savile molested her at the Haut de la Garenne home in the 1970s. A three-year, £7.5m investigation by Jersey police into historic child abuse in the island's care homes began after allegations of abuse.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence