Abuse at TV Centre continued as late as 2006


Ian Burrell@iburrell
Friday 11 January 2013 19:58

Jimmy Savile was abusing children on BBC premises as recently as 2006.

The presenter’s alleged sexual assault of a girl, aged between 13 and 16, at the final recording of Top of the Pops will make it difficult for the corporation to explain the Savile scandal as a symptom of the social culture of a bygone era.

BBC Television Centre has been named as one of six “main premises” for the presenter’s sex attacks. According to Scotland Yard’s report, Savile’s offences on BBC premises took place undetected over 47 years from 1959 to 2006.

The BBC said it was “appalled” at the new revelations about sex abuse on its premises, and added: “We would like to restate our sincere apology to the victims of these crimes.”

The corporation’s governing body, the BBC Trust, described the new claims as “truly shocking” and also reiterated “our sincere apologies to all the victims of Jimmy Savile”.

The largest concentration of reported offences at the BBC took place between 1973 and 1977 when Savile’s career was at its height. He was then fronting the “Clunk Clink” national road safety campaign and had just started hosting BBC1’s Jim’ll Fix It, as well as having a job on Radio 1.

The Met recorded 11 offences at the BBC in this period.

Another cluster of six reported attacks at the BBC took place between 1987 and 1991 during the latter years of Jim’ll Fix It. Victims have come forward to explain how Savile used the popular show to gain access to the schools of children who wrote to him with their requests.

The report also suggests that the BBC could have been made aware of allegations against Savile in the 1980s when a female reported to the Met Police that she had been “assaulted in Savile’s camper van in a BBC car park”. But no file of the complaint could be found.

As recently as 2003 a woman visited a West London police station to allege that she had been “touched inappropriately” by Savile at a recording of Top of the Pops in 1973. She only wished to take the matter further if other victims were traced. The matter was “left on file”.

Then in 2006, at the age of 79, Savile co-presented the final broadcast of Tops of the Pops. He groped a young teenage girl aged between 13 and 16.

Dame Janet Smith is leading a review into the culture and practices at the BBC during the years Savile was employed.