Britain’s public service broadcaster, the BBC, was caught up in a growing furor Saturday over claims that a late children’s TV presenter sexually abused young women and girls, sometimes on its premises, in the 1960s and 1970s.
The abuse claims, which come almost a year after presenter Jimmy Savile died, were made by five women in a documentary screened by rival broadcaster ITV Wednesday.
Those interviewed for the film, titled “Exposed — the other side of Jimmy Saville,” gave detailed accounts of sexual assault while as young as 14 or 15. One said she was raped by him at age 16.
Interviewed on a BBC program Saturday, BBC Director of Editorial Policy David Jordan gave what appeared to be the strongest confirmation yet from the broadcaster of wrongdoing on its premises.
“I think the fundamentals of the story are now well established,” he said. “We now know that a number of women were appallingly sexually abused by Jimmy Savile, sometimes on BBC premises, at times during the 1960s and 1970s.”
The police are now involved in the matter and the BBC says it is cooperating fully.
London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement Friday that its officers had met with representatives from the BBC and a national child protection charity.
Savile, who hosted popular children’s TV programs including “Jim’ll Fix It” and “Top of the Pops,” was a household name in Britain for decades. He was also well known for his charitable work, having raised millions of pounds, and was awarded a knighthood. He died last October aged 84.
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Article courtesy cnn.com