The Jimmy Savile report has accused the BBC of serious failings, but has absolved the bosses of any blame.
Dame Janet Smith’s independent ‘whitewashed’ review of Jimmy Savile’s abuse of children at the BBC has concluded that there was no evidence that BBC bosses were aware of his widespread sex attacks.
The report published in full on the BBC website, also said there was a culture of “reverence and fear” towards celebrities at the corporation and that the atmosphere of fear still exists today in the BBC.
The Independent reports:
The reports finds that Savile carried out sex attacks on 72 victims in “virtually every one of the BBC premises in which he worked”.
It states that no senior manager at the BBC “ever found out about any specific complaint relating to Savile’s inappropriate sexual conduct in connection with his work for the BBC”.
However, it says some junior and middle-ranking staff were aware of Savile’s “inappropriate sexual behaviour”.
In total, 117 witnesses who had worked at the BBC had “heard rumours” of Savile’s activities
The report’s key findings state:
- Of the 72 victims, 57 were female and 15 were male. 21 of the female victims were under 16 and 36 were 16 and over; 13 of the male victims were under 16 and two were sixteen and over;
- Eight victims were raped (six female and two male) and one female victim was the subject of an attempted rape;
- The youngest vcitim of sexual abuses was aged just eight
- 47 victims were the subject of indecent/sexual assault excluding rape (34 female and 13 male);
- Top of the Pops and Jim’ll Fix It were the programmes relating to which victims were most frequently assaulted (with 19 victims being assaulted in relation to Top of the Pops and 17 in relation to Jim’ll Fix It);
- The majority of victims (44) were assaulted in the 1970s, with 10 in the 1960s and 17 in the 1980s.
Dame Janet found that staff missed a string of opportunities dating back to the late 1960s to stop Savile, who died in October 2011 aged 84 never having been brought to justice for his crimes and is now believed to be one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.
Her report states: “In summary, my conclusion is that certain junior and middle-ranking individuals were aware of Savile’s inappropriate sexual conduct in connection with his work for the BBC.
“However, I have found no evidence that the BBC, as a corporate body, was aware of Savile’s inappropriate sexual conduct in connection with his work for the BBC.”
She said her findings made for “very sorry reading” for the BBC and that she had identified “some serious failings” in the organisation’s culture.
Tony Blackburn meanwhile has ‘parted company’ with the BBC following the Savile inquiry.
Yesterday, the radio DJ said he was sacked by the BBC because of a disagreement over his evidence to the inquiry into Savile.
In a statement, he accused the BBC of making him a “scapegoat” for its own “cover-up” of abuse.
BBC Director general, Lord Tony Hall said Blackburn had failed to fully co-operate with the inquiry
The veteran DJ said he had been left with no choice but to sue and would not allow the corporation to destroy his reputation