UK & World News
Jimmy Savile Claims: BBC To Hold Inquiry
The BBC has said it will hold an inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse against Sir Jimmy Savile.
The corporation's director-general said the probe would take place after the criminal investigation is complete.
Speaking on the Radio 4 Today programme, George Entwistle said he would like to "apologise on behalf of the organisation" in the wake of the allegations of sexual abuse against the former DJ and star of Jim'll Fix It.
He said the women involved had "gone through something awful", which he "deeply regrets".
Mr Entwistle spoke out a day after the Prime Minister called for allegations of sexual abuse against the late celebrity, who was employed by the BBC at the time, to be fully investigated.
David Cameron said the claims from a number of women which have emerged over recent weeks that they were abused by Savile as teenagers were "truly shocking".
Mr Entwistle, who took over as director-general at the BBC last month, said there needed to be a "comprehensive examination" of what went on, following the police investigation.
He said: "At the heart of what went on are a series of criminal allegations about the behaviour of Sir Jimmy Savile.
"Now, the way to deal with those is to make sure that the police, who are the only properly constituted authority for dealing with criminal investigations, are allowed to make the examinations and inquiries they need to make.
"So ... it is critically important that we start by putting the BBC at the disposal of the police in this regard."
Any BBC probe, he added, would examine the "broad question of what was going and whether anybody around Jimmy Savile knew what was going on".
Mr Entwistle refuted claims that Newsnight was forced to axe an investigation into the Saville abuse claims, due to be broadcast on the BBC programme before Christmas last year.
He said: "The BBC is designed in such a way that news and current affairs programmes are protected from the interests and influence of the rest of the organisation."
He added: "With the benefit of hindsight I think we could all wish that Newsnight had been able to go as far as ITV went."
Asked why the BBC ran a eulogy on Savile after evidence surfaced, he said: "I didn't know what had become of that investigation, I didn't know what discoveries, if any, that they had.
"A great many people in the country loved Jimmy Savile and wanted to contribute to that programme."
Meanwhile, police child abuse officers have met BBC officials to discuss allegations over Savile.
Scotland Yard said they were contacting all individuals who have made claims about the late presenter and should know how many victims there are some time this week.
A growing number of victims have come forward to allege that Savile sexually assaulted them after five women took part in an ITV documentary claiming that they had been abused.
Jim Gamble, the former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, welcomed the BBC's internal review but warned it would only be "credible" if it had the expertise and independence "that will deal with the perception, perhaps, that this culture of cover-up still exists within the organisation".
what do you think?
It is a bit late now that he is dead, why didn't they take action when we was alive if Rantzen and her ilk knew all about the allegations but kept quiet?
Gonna be a view nervous people who were around then!!!!!
The only justice we can have now is making the world know what a horrible man he was and make everyone aware of the people that knew about it and didn't say a word.
So you have decided he is guilty then and all by yourself?
I wouldn't say all by myself. I should imagine there is a lot of people that agree with me old boy.
Savile's behaviour seems to have been common knowledge in the BBC so the str=art truth is that the top brass allowed it to carry on. As for Cameron's ha'penny worth, serious as this matter is it is too minor to justify comment from the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and he is yet again demeaning his Office by using soundbites on "right-on" issues to try to garner popularity .Any statement should properly have been made by the Justice Minister. Cameron is a bandwagon hobo.
So Mr Entwistle is now apologising in advance of wether Jimmy is proved to be guilty or not, wow, he should be on Brighton pier with a crystal ball!
I guess your in the head in the sand jim'l fix it fan club a Rog? The evidence is looking pretty overwhelming wouldn't you say?
In legal terms an apology is an admission of guilt.
Probably Steven, but then I'm from the generation that believed in the adage..'Innocent until PROVED guilty'. If your generation wishes to be of the 'Judge, Jury and executioner, brigade then I'm glad I'm on my way out because I sure as hell would not want to have to start fighting a new generation of fascists!
Looks like the culture at the BBC 30yrs ago was that any young female was fair game, and saville amongst others got away with their behaviour, because people in high places turned a blind eye.shame on them, the BBC knew that this was gonna blow up months ago, but again stayed silent and now as its public are choosing to sing. Disgrace
Let's make them accountable. This should never of been allowed to go on. Saville is dead but many who knew are not and they need to be named and shamed as they let such despicable behaviour go on.
Totally agree abusers should never be allowed to be untouchable. It's sickening, and these people who knew, have children of their own, how do they sleep, knowing what they know. Sick