Sarah Knapton — Telegraph.co.uk June 2, 2014
Jimmy Savile’s youngest victim was just two-years-old, it emerged yesterday, as an investigation found that the BBC did little to prevent the radio presenter abusing youngsters.
New research from the NSPCC, commissioned for BBC’s Panorama, uncovered at least 500 victims of Savile. The charity said the DJ may be the ‘most prolific sex offender’ it had ever come across.
It also emerged that six teenage girls had been abused in Savile’s dressing room in the 1970s even though the BBC had been warned to make sure that youngsters were properly supervised.
The attacks took place after the BBC Controller of Television Administration wrote a memo saying he ‘believed the situation is as tightly controlled as can reasonably be achieved.’
The investigation also uncovered more offending at Broadmoor.Civil servants were so star-struck by the presenter they referred to him as ‘Dr Savile,’ papers have revealed.
The latest figures show that the most common age group for Savile’s victims was 13 to 15 – but that his youngest victim was just two years old.
Peter Watt, the NSPCC’s director of child protection, said: “There’s no doubt that Savile is one of the most, if not the most, prolific sex offender that we at the NSPCC have ever come across.
“What you have is somebody who, at his most prolific, lost no opportunity to identify vulnerable victims and abuse them.”
It emerged that the BBC had launched an inquiry into allegations of inappropriate behavior at the corporation in the 1970s, headed by Sir Brian Neill.
His report suggested there should be clear guidance about supervising young audiences coming to see Top of the Pops.
However a memo written in August 1972 by the BBC’s Controller of Television Administration, showed that the advice was not acted on.
The investigation found evidence that six young people were abused by Savile in BBC dressing rooms after Sir Brian Neill’s advice.
Former BBC receptionist Marion Horton-Smith, who worked at Lime Grove studios during the 1970s, said Savile assaulted her in his caravan after inviting her there to record a request for his show.
“He said, ‘does it deserve a kiss then?’ I went to give him a kiss on the cheek and suddenly I was pushed back on the bed and he was on top of me and from somewhere, he put a light out,” she said.
“He was very strong. I mean, he pinned me down, but he was slobbering up and down my neck.”
She said she blamed herself and did not report what had happened.
Another woman who was first abused by Savile in Broadmoor and then groomed by him at the BBC, said she went unchaperoned to his Top of the Pops dressing room, where she said Savile molested her many times until 1975.
“I don’t remember there being any supervision at all,” said the woman, who wanted to remain anonymous.
“Only Jimmy himself. He would just say, when the show’s over just wait over there by that door there on the set and I’ll come and get you.”
The joint BBC investigation between Panorama and The World at One, shows confidential documents from the Department of Health which show the extent of Savile’s influence at Broadmoor hospital.
The investigation has also discovered that the scale of Savile’s offending inside Broadmoor is higher than previously thought. Thames Valley Police says it has now received 16 reports of abuse by him inside the special hospital.
In 1988, Health Minister Edwina Currie appointed Savile to head a task force to address tensions between Broadmoor’s management and unions.
The documents suggest the government and civil servants were star struck by the entertainer. They refer to him as ‘Dr Savile.’
In 1971, Savile took a 14-year old girl who had taken part in a BBC talent audition into Broadmoor to sing for the patients. The woman, who did not want to be identified, said the visit was ‘the scariest experience of my life’.
“He reassured me by putting his arm on my shoulder and rubbing my arm, and then he gave me a cuddle and so he was touching my breasts, and he kissed me and he tried to put his tongue in my mouth.”
She said she was later groomed over a two year period by Savile in his Top of The Pops dressing room at the BBC.
A BBC spokesman said: “The BBC has said it is appalled at Jimmy Saville’s crimes.
“We’re unable to give a commentary on statements in these specific documents as they are over 40 years old, but the Dame Janet Smith review is considering the culture and practices of the BBC during this period and has had our full cooperation. We will await their full report.”
The full investigation airs today (MON) on BBC One and BBC Radio 4.