Children in Need banned 'creepy' Savile over sex fears

Oct 29, 2012

Former chairman of the BBC charity says he refused to have anything to do with Savile

JIMMY SAVILE was banned from the Children in Need charity more than ten years ago because of his "creepy" behaviour, one of its former chairmen has revealed.

Sir Roger Jones, who headed the charity during his time as a BBC governor between 1996 and 2002, said he refused to have anything to do with the late presenter, who is now thought to have abused as many as 300 people over a 40-year period.

"I think we all recognised he was a pretty creepy sort of character... we didn't want him anywhere near the charity," Jones told BBC Wales. He even insisted that he was so concerned about the presenter's behaviour that he would have stepped down from his role if Savile had become involved with the charity.

But despite the "rumours" about Savile, Jones never made an official complaint.

"If you're going to go on the attack and make claims against him then you'd need evidence, hard evidence that simply wasn't there," he said. "But if you're protecting yourself you can do that without evidence.

"I had no evidence but I found that his behaviour was very strange. I felt it was inappropriate. I couldn't tell that he was a practising paedophile, but I didn't have to. On my watch, Children In Need was properly covered."

According to The Daily Telegraph: "The revelation will once again raise questions about how much was known within the BBC about Savile's behaviour."

In other developments:

  • The BBC has launched an inquiry, to be headed by former appeal court judge Dame Janet Smith, into culture and practices at the corporation during Savile's career. It will also consider whether BBC child protection and whistle-blowing policies are up to scratch.
  • Former pop star Paul Gadd, better known as Gary Glitter, has been released on bail after being questioned for ten hours on suspicion of sex offences. He is expected to be the first of a string of celebrities who will be questioned as part of the police's Operation Yewtree, an investigation into Savile.
  • Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt revealed that he and his bandmates had suspicions about Savile. "We all felt, 'There's something not right there'," he told The Daily Telegraph. “It was kind of in the back of our minds. But you could never quite suss him out." He added that "everybody was at it" when they appeared on Top of the Pops in the 1970s.

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This is going to run and run, and eventually there will be an enquiry that isn't run by the BBC. It's not a crime to be thought creepy or wierd, but the hard evidence, it seems, was there for anybody who might have had the will to find it and the guts to bring it to light. And hopefully this enquiry will look at wider social hypocrisy - why is Savile being called a paedophile for abusing teenagers while NHS personnel are perscribing 13-year-olds with contraceptives?