Sex, lies and BBC Red Tape: Did the BBC cover up the alleged activities by Jimmy Savile?
Most blogs are written in an attempt to be ‘breaking’. Yes, everyone is breaking these days. They’re not really. Unless they’ve unearthed a story all by themselves and no one else has rights or access to it. That said (and I feel better for it) here is another blog (or blawg) on a matter raised many years ago, so it’s not breaking, but not insignificant by any standards.
Savile grew in popularity in the 70’s and 80’s as a man who, like Bob the Builder, could fix it: Jim’ll Fix It. I grew up watching this show, and I even wrote to Savile on more than one occasion (for quite what I do not remember and I’m not convinced my mother actually posted them – did she know something I didn’t?). I’ve always been attracted to bling, and credit where credit is due, Savile always had plenty of that and his Fix It ‘necklace’ was pretty cool-looking (I reckon). Seems it and apparently he, attracted lots of children in the 70’s and 80’s…(penny drops as to why it sparkled…maybe).
It was rumoured way back in the 70’s and 80’s that Savile had used his powers of persuasiveness to ‘fix it’ for his adoring fans. Sky reports there was an historical investigation by Surrey police in 2007 regarding matters pertaining to sexual abuse in the 70’s but there was “insufficient evidence to take any further action.”
The BBC were due to air a Newsnight piece on Savile in the latter part of last year, yet axed it at the last minute. Seems the BBC had the same attitude as the CPS:
“…Simply not possible for the Corporation to take any further action”.
Did the BBC unearth something they’d rather we did not see, and would have felt compelled to include if they aired the show? To axe it would have been the easier option, for ‘editorial reasons’, we are advised.
In my opinion, when there are rumours, especially rumours provided by credible sources and those rumours have led to an investigation regarding historical sexual abuse, which has then ceased, who do we really need to re-evaluate? The police? Well it seems they put the case forward to the CPS and the CPS decided not to progress further in 2007. I’m sure the CPS did all they could with the information they had. If there is more evidence which to date has not been provided, it needs to come out now.
Savile’s former PA has said that in light of the 2007 allegations that private prosecutions could have been a remedy if the complainants were so confident in their claims. Maybe. But private prosecutions can be expensive, and beyond the scope of many. If they could attract funding, it might have been an option. But I’m not sure how one would go about it. Imagine an advertisement reading: ‘Funding sought to bring alleged paedophile to justice (so far so good), alleged perpetrator has raised millions for children’s charities and has received a knighthood for his achievements’. OK, this is where it would all go pear-shaped and people may start disbelieving, much like they did in the beginning.
Even Frank Bruno thought Savile was a decent bloke, leading Savile’s funeral procession. That could be half the issue. Savile himself was a celebrity with knockout power; even Esther Rantzen wouldn’t take him on. Wow. TKO for Savile in life, but after death? Maybe it’s Savile that will be knocked out of the BBC Hall of Fame, which, I guess, is up for ‘editorial’ discussion…
In conclusion, until anything is proven by law, Savile’s reputation (like anyone else’s) ought to remain intact (if not more than a little tarnished). I will keep an eye on this story to see if it turns into a legal case (again).
© Gary Lee Walters, 2012