Top boss ad­mits 10 em­ploy­ees are un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Midweek Sport - - FRONT PAGE - By RACHEL SPENCERrachel@

BBC Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Ge­orge En­twistle sparked claims of a sex ring deep in the heart of the cor­po­ra­tion when he re­vealed yes­ter­day that up to TEN staff are be­ing probed for pae­dophile crimes.

He ad­mit­ted to MPs there was a ‘cul­ture’ at the or­gan­i­sa­tion that al­lowed Jimmy Sav­ile and other staff mem­bers to molest chil­dren.

Giv­ing ev­i­dence to the Cul­ture, Me­dia and Sport Se­lect Com­mit­tee, he said that TEN other em­ploy­ees could be im­pli­cated in­clud­ing some still work­ing there.

En­twistle ad­mit­ted: “There was a prob­lem of cul­ture within the BBC. I don’t be­lieve some­one like Jimmy Sav­ile could do what he did with­out there be­ing a broader prob­lem .

“We’re look­ing at be­tween five and 10 se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions re­lat­ing to ac­tiv­i­ties over the whole pe­riod in ques­tion, the Sav­ile pe­riod.”

Al­ready im­pli­cated are con­victed paedo Gary Glit­ter, 68, who is al­leged to have had sex with a teenage girl in Sav­ile’s dress­ing room, ex-Ra­dio 1 DJs John Peel, who died aged 65 in 2004 and boasted about be­ing given oral sex by un­der­age girls, and Chris Den­ning, 71, who has been in and out of jail for three decades for abus­ing boys.

En­twistle was ap­pear­ing be­fore the com­mit­tee to ex­plain why the Beeb’s flag­ship News­night show dropped a re­port that would have ex­posed Sav­ile as a sick child molester.

A Panorama in­ves­ti­ga­tion, viewed by five mil­lion on Mon­day, claimed the re­port was dropped so it didn’t in­ter­fere with the BBC’s plans to cel­e­brate Sav­ile’s ca­reer af­ter his death, aged 84, last year.


That re­port fea­tured ev­i­dence from vic­tim Karin Ward, a for­mer pupil at Dun­croft Ap­proved School For Girls, who told how she and other pupils had to per­form sex acts on Sav­ile in re­turn for cig­a­rettes.

When the BBC re­fused to air her claims ITV’s Ex­po­sure pro­gramme did, en­cour­ag­ing more than 100 other women and men to come for­ward with claims against Sav­ile span­ning five decades, from his early ca­reer in the 1960s to his death.

News­night pro­ducer Me­rion Jones, who came up with the idea for the pro­gramme af­ter find­ing Karin Ward’s story on­line, said he warned of ‘sub­stan­tial dam­age to the BBC’s rep­u­ta­tion’ if the film was pulled.

And News­night re­porter Liz MacKean, who spoke to Karin Ward and sev­eral of Sav­ile’s other vic­tims, ac­cused the BBC of fail­ing them.

She said: “I felt we had a re­spon­si­bil­ity to­wards them. We had got them to talk to us and above all we be­lieved them. I felt badly about that. I felt we had let them down.”

BBC jour­nal­ists have spo­ken of their hor­ror at the cor­po­ra­tion’s han­dling of the Sav­ile story. John Simp­son told Panorama: “This is the worst cri­sis I can re­mem­ber in my nearly 50 years at the BBC.” A BBC in­sider said: “For the ex-boss of the cor­po­ra­tion to ad­mit that there was a ‘cul­ture’ where this was al­lowed to go on sug­gests there was a sex ring.”

PROBED: En­twistle ( above), the BBC and Sav­ile

LET DOWN: Karin SAV­ILE-STYLE SICKOS: Glit­ter, Peel and Den­ning

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