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'Macho culture' at BBC allowed Jimmy Savile to abuse 57 females and 15 boys

The youngest victim of a sexual assault was just eight years old.

Image: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Updated 3pm

EMPLOYEES AT THE BBC knew of complaints against DJ Jimmy Savile, but senior management were not told because of a culture of fear that still exists, a new report has found.

Dame Janet Smith lead a review into cases of sexual abuse by Savile. It found that eight informal complaints were made.

Smith said some BBC staff were “more worried about reputation than the safety of children”.

The report says “serious failings” and a “macho culture” at the BBC allowed Savile to abuse 72 people.

Solicitor Jessica Standley of Slater Gordon Lawyers, the law firm representing the victims of Jimmy Savile, told Today with Sean O’Rourke that she finds it ‘inconceivable’ that rumours didn’t reach higher levels in BBC.

I find that difficult to accept and indeed the victims will … what the victims really wanted from this report was the truth and accountability and I think they’ll feel this hasn’t been unearthed.

“I still find it remarkable to believe suspicious didn’t go up to higher levels and if they scratched the surface of the rumours it would have been uncovered.”

Other key findings:

The Guardian reports that Savile sexually assaulted 57 females and 15 boys. Three incidents of rape and attempted rape took place on BBC premises.

The youngest victim of a sexual assault was just eight years old. The offences took place from 1959 to 2006.

  • Savile’s victims of Savile in connection with his work at the BBC include eight people who were raped and one instance of an attempted rape. Others faced sexual assaults;
  • The majority of the cases took place in the 1970s;
  • The largest number of victims was in connection to music show Top of the Pops.

Savile was one of the UK’s most popular TV and radio personality, best known for his work on Top of the Pops and Jim’ll Fix It.

A year after his death in 2011, allegations of abuse surfaced.

The investigation by Smith, a former British high court judge, was set up by the BBC in 2012.

Rona Fairhead, chair of the BBC Trust, apologised shortly after the report was released.

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Other broadcasters

BBC News states a separate report found that BBC management in Manchester were aware of the inappropriate sexual conduct of ex-broadcaster Stuart Hall.

Yesterday, radio DJ Tony Blackburn said he was sacked by the BBC because of a disagreement over his evidence to the inquiry into Savile.

Blackburn said Smith’s report makes no suggestion he was guilty of any misconduct with a 15-year-old in 1971.

What they want is to know that lessons have been learnt and things will change in the future.

Additional reporting by Cliódhna Russell. 

Read: Tony Blackburn says BBC sacked him over Jimmy Savile inquiry

Read: Jimmy Savile abused victims while on camera and on the set of Top of the Pops

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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