Report: Bosses ordered Newsnight to drop Jimmy Savile teen sex abuse report

BBC bosses have been accused of ordering Newsnight to drop an investigation into claims Sir Jimmy Savile sexually abused a teenage girl at Television Centre.

A report in today’s Daily Telegraph says the woman claimed Savile molested her when she was 14 or 15 after inviting her to recordings of the BBC 1970s family show Clunk Click. The accusations are detailed in this month’s Oldie Magazine.

Newsnight reportedly tracked down several other women who claimed Savile ‘used his role on the programme to groom and abuse teenage girls’and also heard claims that “two other celebrities, both still alive, sexually abused girls at Television Centre in the 1970s”.

The Telegraph reports:

The BBC had hoped to broadcast the Newsnight report in December, two months after Savile’s death, but bosses ordered that the investigation be dropped.

Instead, the corporation screened two tribute programmes celebrating Savile’s lengthy BBC career as presenter of Jim’ll Fix It and Top of the Pops, and also as a Radio 1 DJ.

The BBC now stands accused of covering up the allegations, which were detailed in The Oldie magazine, because senior executives did not want the corporation’s reputation to be tarnished.

It adds:

A Newsnight spokesman refused to answer any questions about the report or to deny that Helen Boaden, the corporation’s news chief, was personally involved in the decision to kill it. ‘Any suggestion that a story was dropped for anything other than editorial reasons is completely untrue,’the spokesman said.

The BBC gathers information on hundreds of stories and not all make it to air. In this case the angle we were pursuing could not be substantiated.

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