Family 'disgusted and disappointed' by ITV Jimmy Savile documentary
BBC has investigated and found no evidence of misconduct
Newsnight dropped its Savile investigation because allegations could not be substantiated
ITV has defended a documentary about Jimmy Savile due to air this week as an "'in-depth investigation into long-standing allegations of serious and widespread sexual misconduct" after coming under attack from the late DJ's family.
Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile, which airs later this week, details claims from women dating to the 1970s, including allegations that he abused girls in his Rolls-Royce and at BBC TV Centre.
Roger Foster, Sir Jimmy's nephew, said his family is "disgusted and disappointed" that the allegations are being made when the presenter, who died on 29 October last year aged 84, is no longer around to defend himself.
An ITV spokesman said: "This documentary is the result of an in-depth investigation into long-standing allegations of serious and widespread sexual misconduct by Sir Jimmy Savile. Because of the very serious nature of the claims made by several interviewees in relation to this, particular care and consideration was of course given to the decision to produce and broadcast this programme.
"The programme takes full account of the fact that Sir Jimmy is not here to defend himself against these claims."
Foster, from Goole, East Yorkshire, said he is not only concerned for Sir Jimmy's reputation and legacy but also for the damage the allegations could do to his charities.
"I just get so disgusted and disappointed by it. The guy hasn't been dead for a year yet and they're bringing these stories out. It could affect his legacy, his charity work, everything. I'm very sad and disgusted," he said.
"I just don't understand the motives behind this. I just think it's very, very sad you can say these things after someone's died and the law says you can't defend yourself when you're dead."
Sir Jimmy was famous for TV shows like Jim'll Fix It and Top Of The Pops as well as being a DJ on BBC Radio 1.
ITV said the programme, presented by former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, features contributions from several women who claim that Sir Jimmy was a sexual predator who sexually assaulted them while they were under-age.
One woman alleges that she was raped by the DJ and another says she was asked to perform a sex act on him.
ITV said one of the contributors explained how she was too frightened to speak out while Sir Jimmy was alive. They said the programme will allege that the broadcaster preyed on teenagers whom he invited to appear on his TV shows.
One 14-year-old girl tells the programme how she met Sir Jimmy at a school in Surrey in 1974 and he assaulted her in his caravan which was parked in the school grounds.
ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen, who worked for the BBC during the 1970s, told the programme that she now believes Sir Jimmy sexually abused under-age girls, after seeing the fresh evidence from their interviews.
"We all blocked our ears to the gossip," she said. "We made him into the Jimmy Savile who was untouchable, who nobody could criticise. Jim'll Fix It was for children. He was a sort of God-like figure. Everybody knew of the good that Jimmy did and what he did for children. And these children were powerless," she said.
The programme makers said they will also air a 2009 recording of Sir Jimmy talking in support of Gary Glitter. Real name Paul Gadd, Glitter was jailed for four months in the UK in 1999 for downloading child porn and later jailed for child sex offences in Vietnam.
The programme records Sir Jimmy as saying: "Now Gary, all he did was to take his computer into PC World to get it repaired. They went into the hard drive, saw all these dodgy pictures and told the police and the police then 'Oh we've got a famous person … Oh my goodness, yeah we'll have them'.
"But Gary has not sold 'em, has not tried to sell 'em, not tried to show them in public or anything like that. It were for his own gratification. Whether it was right or wrong is, of course, it's up to him as a person. But they didn't do anything wrong but they are then demonised."
The BBC responded to reports that inappropriate behaviour by Sir Jimmy was an "open secret" at the corporation by saying it found no evidence of any misconduct by the broadcaster. "The BBC has conducted extensive searches of its files to establish whether there is any record of misconduct or allegations of misconduct by Sir Jimmy Savile during his time at the BBC. No such evidence has been found," it said in a statement.
"Whilst the BBC condemns any behaviour of the type alleged in the strongest terms, in the absence of evidence of any kind found at the BBC that corroborates the allegations that have been made, it is simply not possible for the corporation to take any further action."
The BBC also explained why an investigation into Sir Jimmy by BBC2's Newsnight was never broadcast.
Newsnight editor Peter Rippon said: "It is absolutely untrue that the Newsnight investigation was dropped for anything other than editorial reasons.
"We have been very clear from the start that the piece was not broadcast because the story we were pursuing could not be substantiated. To say otherwise is false and very damaging to the BBC and individuals. The notion that internal pressure was applied appears to be a malicious rumour."