Friday 28 July 2017

BBC boss knew of abuse claims against Savile, says colleague

Martin Beckford London

THE head of BBC Radio 1 was aware of sex abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile in the early 1970s, according to a former colleague.

Rodney Collins, who was head of press for the BBC pop music station at the time, has disclosed that he looked into whether or not newspapers were investigating rumours about the DJ's involvement with young girls.

He said he was asked to do so in 1973 by the late Douglas Muggeridge, then the controller of Radio 1 and Radio 2.

His claims put fresh pressure on the corporation, which has been accused of turning a blind eye to repeated claims of inappropriate behaviour by the eccentric presenter, who died last year aged 84.

In the past week, 11 women have come forward to say Savile forced himself on them when they were schoolgirls, with more details emerging in an ITV documentary last night.

The BBC's 'Newsnight' pulled a similar programme last year, claiming it could not substantiate the allegations.

The BBC has said it is "horrified" by the claims and that its Investigations Unit is to work with police in looking for evidence, but insisted that "extensive searches" of old files have found no record of misconduct allegations against Savile.

But Mr Collins insisted: "For the BBC to say they weren't aware of anything, they certainly were." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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