THE BBC HAS said the organisation is “horrified” by allegations that presenter Jimmy Savile sexually abused teenage girls in the 1960s and 1970s.
ITV is set to air a documentary on Wednesday night which will contain claims by a number of women that the DJ and presenter sexually abused them on BBC premises.
One case of alleged rape has been referred to the Metropolitan Police in London.
In a statement this evening, the BBC described the allegations as “serious and disturbing” and said the organisation will work with police to carry out an inquiry.
“We are horrified by allegations that anything of this sort could have happened at the BBC – or have been carried out by anyone working for the BBC,” the statement said.
“They are allegations of a serious criminal nature which the police have the proper powers to investigation”.
The BBC said it will cooperate fully with the police investigation:
We have today asked the BBC Investigations Unit to make direct contact with all the police forces in receipt of allegations and offer to help them investigate these matters and provide full support to any lines of inquiry they wish to pursue.
Separately, the editor of current affairs programme Newsnight has said that the BBC was not involved in a cover-up when it chose not air an investigation into the alleged sexual abuse carried out by Saville.
Peter Rippon wrote on a BBC blog this evening that the story was substantially weakened by the lack of evidence and he had taken the decision not to go ahead with the programme.
“There were some of my team who disagreed with my judgement, and others who agreed equally strongly,” he wrote.
Jimmy Savile was the presenter of programmes including Top of the Pops and Jim’ll Fix it. He died in October 2011.