Sir Jimmy Savile, OBE, was an eccentric British broadcaster and disc jockey best known for his BBC television show, Jim'll Fix It, and his extensive charity work. Born in October 1926, he became a disc jockey on Radio Luxembourg in 1958 which led to work on Tyne Tees Television and finally, the BBC. He was both the first and last presenter of the long-running BBC music chart show Top of the Pops. Over several decades, and until his death in 2011, he raised millions of pounds for charities and hospitals including Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire. He was awarded the OBE in 1971 and was knighted in 1990. In September 2012, an ITV investigation which alleged that Jimmy Savile had sexually abused underage girls led to Scotland Yard launching a formal criminal investigation into historic allegations of child sex abuse by Savile "on an unprecedented scale" over four decades.
Jimmy Savile scandal 'worst BBC crisis for 50 years'
Unfolding claims of sexual abuse against late BBC star Jimmy Savile have plunged Britain’s national broadcaster into its biggest crisis for 50 years, a senior reporter has warned.
Veteran BBC foreign editor John Simpson explained in an interview with the channel’s Panorama programme to be aired Monday that the scandal had left the broadcaster in a “very dangerous” position.
The BBC is fending off reports that it pulled an investigation into Savile’s behaviour because it would have clashed with tribute programmes to the entertainer, who died last year aged 84.
“This is the worst crisis that I can remember in my nearly 50 years at the BBC,” Simpson says on BBC1’s flagship investigative show, Panorama.
“I don’t think the BBC has handled it terribly well.
“I mean, I think it’s better to just come out right at the start and say we’re going to open everything up and then we’re going to show everybody everything.”
The Panorama programme investigates how much information BBC’s Newsnight had on the allegations surrounding the entertainer.
British police investigating the eccentric star said Friday they were now dealing with up to 200 potential victims. They have launched a full criminal probe into other suspects who are still alive.
Savile was one of Britain’s best-loved television presenters who raised huge sums for charity. But claims that he sexually abused underage girls have left his reputation in shreds and the BBC facing accusations of a cover-up.
Two weeks after a programme by BBC’s commercial rival ITV aired allegations about him by a handful of women, Scotland Yard said the claims had snowballed, with dozens of other people coming forward.
The BBC has announced an independent probe into its “culture and practices” during Savile’s time at the broadcaster.