Speak no evil: Children in Need will make 'passing reference' to Jimmy Savile scandal but not mention his name


Amol Rajan
Thursday 15 November 2012 14:38

The BBC's annual Children in Need fundraiser tomorrow evening will make passing reference to Jimmy Savile scandal but not name the disgraced for presenter by name, according to the BBC.

Terry Wogan will present the show, which raised a record £46m last year, in what is being widely interpreted as a test of public support for the Corporation in the wake of revelations of Savile's abuse of children, Newsnight's broadcast of false allegations against a Tory peer, the resignation of Director General George Entwhistle and the "stepping aside" of a number of senior figures.

'There will be some kind of reference to recent events that have been covered in the Press quite extensively,' a BBC insider told the Guardian. 'It will also say that Children in Need does and always has supported children who were the victims of abuse and will continue to support the amazing work that these charities do.

It is customary for high-profile stars to perform on the evening in aid of children's charities both in Britain and abroad. This year Sir Alan Sugar will appear in a special edition of Eastenders, bands One Direction and Girls Aloud will sing (the latter having recorded this year's Children in Need single, 'Something New') and a bevy of Olympics and Paralympics heroes will also perform. The show will also include special editions of Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing and Top Gear.

Tomorrow's broadcast take place against the backdrop of two dispiriting developments for the Corporation.

The UK Giving Report 2012 revealed that donations to charity have fallen by 20 per cent, or £2.3bn when adjusted for inflation, perhaps in part because of Britain's double-dip recession.

Separately, a YouGov survey published on Tuesday found the number of people who trust BBC journalists to tell the truth has fallen by 13 per cent in the past fortnight alone. Traditionally, Children in Need includes several reports by established BBC journalists and presenters.

A BBC spokesman said: "Our aim this year, like every year, is to raise as much money as possible and we are on track to raise millions to help change lives of disadvantaged children across the UK.

"BBC Children in Need has a strong track record of funding projects with a specific focus on supporting children and young people who are at risk of, or have experienced, some form of sexual abuse.

"On Friday night, the show will feature a number of films based on the work we fund to help disadvantaged children and young people in the UK, this will include some of our work helping the victims of sexual abuse, as was the case last year."

Wogan will be joined by presenters Fearne Cotton, Tess Daly, and Nick Grimshaw of Radio 1, for this year's production. Children in Need has raised £650 since its first broadcast in 1980.

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