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I quizzed Savile on rumours -- BBC boss

A SENIOR member of staff at the BBC has revealed he questioned Jimmy Savile over rumours about his private life more than 20 years ago.

As police revealed the DJ and television presenter's alleged catalogue of child sex abuse could have spanned six decades and included around 60 victims, Derek Chinnery, BBC Radio 1 controller from 1978 to 1985, said he quizzed the presenter directly about the rumours.

The scandal has mushroomed since ITV screened a documentary in which five women alleged they were abused by Savile, with Scotland Yard saying there are allegations spanning 1959 to 2006.

Mr Chinnery, who was Savile's boss at Radio 1, told BBC Radio 4's Broadcasting House: "I asked, 'what's all this, these rumours we hear about you, Jimmy?'.

"And he said, 'that's all nonsense'. There was no reason to disbelieve (Savile)."

Savile worked at Radio 1 from 1969 to 1989.

Mr Chinnery told the BBC: He was the sort of man that attracted rumours... because he was single, he was always on the move, he was always going around the country."

So far 12 allegations of sexual offences have been officially recorded but this number is increasing, police said.

Another alleged victim, now 45, has come forward to say he was abused by Savile as a nine-year-old cub scout during filming for a Jim'll Fix It programme, making him the youngest known person targeted by the presenter.