Channel 4 News is to broadcast an investigation into former BBC director general Mark Thompson and the Jimmy Savile scandal tonight.
A report will seek to explore “significant unanswered questions” from his time at the BBC. Thompson is now a CEO at the New York Times.
- September 16, 2021
- September 15, 2021
- September 15, 2021
In it, he faced questions from Miles Goslett, the freelance journalist who, in February 2012, broke the news that BBC programme Newsnight had axed its Savile child abuse investigation.
It comes ahead of Thompson's appearance before MPs at the Public Accounts Committee on Monday, where he will be quizzed on BBC pay-offs.
In addition, Thompson may also face further questioning on what he knew about Newsnight’s investigation into Savile, which was suppressed by BBC management in December 2011.
An independent review by Nick Pollard, former head of Sky News, accepted that Thompson had not heard any of the allegations made against Savile.
However, former BBC director of news Helen Boaden has since claimed she told Thompson about the contents of the investigation in December 2011 – nine months before he departed the corporation for New York.
And Thompson will admit tonight that he did discuss the Savile investigation with Boaden.
“Let’s be clear there was a very brief conversation between Helen Boaden and myself… We had slightly different recollections about this conversation. Nick Pollard knows he considered this fact and decided at the end of his investigation that he had no reason to doubt my version of events… That is what happened,” he said.
“The key thing is this was a conversation about an investigation that she thought had failed.”
Last month, the ITN programme declined to confirm that the broadcast would go ahead after it emerged that Thompson was involved in an argument with the news team outside his New York home in July.
The New York Times reported that the team was working on a fresh Jimmy Savile expose.
A source told the paper: “I saw a cameraman and a reporter speaking to Thompson outside his apartment before rush hour…
“He was tense and angry and was talking very loudly. They followed him around the corner and he lost his temper and shouted at them. It really caused a scene.”