Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal: A timeline of events as they unfolded

 

 

25 November 2011

Days after Newsnight journalists confirmed the police had investigated allegations of child sex abuse by Jimmy Savile in 2007, editor Peter Rippon emailed: “Excellent, we can then pull together the tx (transmission) plan.”

29 November 2011

After the journalists prepare a script with interviews and statements, the BBC Impact Team, which makes clips available to news outlets, anticipated “a huge amount of interest” in the investigation, adding: “All domestic outlets would want to run it”.

30 November 2011

Suddenly Rippon’s attitude changed, emailing producer Meirion Jones: “Having pondered this overnight I think the key is whether we can establish the CPS did drop the case for the reasons the women say.  That makes it a better story – our sources so far are just the women and a second-hand briefing”.

Newsnight journalist MacKean told a friend the same day: “PR [Peter Rippon] says if the bosses aren’t happy... [he] can’t go to the wall on this one.”

1 December 2011

Rippon hardened his position on securing the CPS line. In an email to Jones he said: “I think we should stop working on the other elements...because we don’t really have a strong enough story without it.  I’ll pull editing now”.

2 December 2011

BBC director of news Helen Boaden told George Entwistle, then director of vision at the BBC, about the Newsnight investigation and the possible impact on planned tributes to Savile. She warned if the segment went ahead, he may have to change the Christmas schedules. The conversation is said to have lasted “less than 10 seconds”.

7 December 2011

Jones emailed Rippon to warn him that the BBC would be accused of a cover-up if the story was dropped, and not running it could cause “substantial damage to BBC reputation”.

9 December 2011

Rippon decided not to continue with the investigation after the CPS told Newsnight it did not prosecute Savile over lack of evidence.

2 October 2012

After the news emerged, Rippon writes in his BBC blog that no new information had been uncovered by the Newsnight investigation, and the woman interviewed had already talked to the police, which the journalists denied.

3 October 2012

ITV screened its documentary into claims of Savile’s underage sex abuse.

5 October 2012

Entwistle, now Director General of the BBC, emailed all staff about the Savile crisis to say “the BBC Newsnight programme investigated Surrey Police’s enquiry into Jimmy Savile towards the end of 2011”

Jones replied immediately: “The investigation was into whether Jimmy Savile was a paedophile – I know because it was my investigation.  We didn’t know that Surrey police had investigated Jimmy Savile – no-one did – that was what we found when we investigated and interviewed his victims.”

8 October 2012

MacKean emailed Entwistle to “share [her] disquiet about the handling of the Newsnight Savile story”. She wrote: “Worst of all has been what seems like a concerted effort to make it appear that our story was about something else, something that could be dropped and forgotten ahead of fulsome tribute programmes.”

11 October 2012

Entwistle said publicly he was aware of the Newsnight investigation but knew none of the details; “I had no idea what the nature of the investigation was”.

12 October 2012

Entwistle said: “Despite our efforts to make clear our belief that the decision to drop the Newsnight investigation was taken properly for sound editorial reasons people have continued to speculate.” He also offered a “profound and heartfelt apology” to Savile’s victims.

15 October 2012

Culture secretary Maria Miller tells the Commons that the BBC had “inappropriately” pulled the Newsnight investigation.

19 October 2012

British police launch a formal criminal investigation into allegations Savile

22 October 2012

The BBC reveals Rippon would step aside during the internal review, and added his blog had been wrong in three respects.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before