The BBC has published witness statements from the inquiry into why a Newsnight investigation into Jimmy Savile was shelved. The documents reveal presenter Jeremy Paxman's criticisms of the decision to drop the story and of the inquiry.
He wrote: "Just for the record I think it is very unfair (and sadly not at all untypical) that the BBC has dumped all this on one individual. It will pass. But I think the BBC's behaviour now is almost as contemptible as it was then."
Tim Davie: 'Redacting is not about protecting the BBC'
Speaking about the redacting of material from the BBC transcripts released today, acting BBC Director General Tim Davie said this has been done following advice from external lawyers and not to protect the BBC:
Savile investigation suggested hours after his death
In one email headed "Jimmy Savile - paedophile", BBC producer Meirion Jones, who was involved in establishing the axed Newsnight report, flagged up the idea of an investigation just hours after the presenter's death was announced.
He proposed the suggestion, possibly for Panorama, because he said some of the girls who had been molested by Savile were ready to talk about their experiences.
He wrote: "Some of the girls are now prepared to talk about this which might make a core to a film about what Jimmy Savile really got up to - and of course he's dead so he can't sue."
His emails also contain vivid transcripts of the sexual activities in which girls at Duncroft approved school - where Savile was a regular visitor - were encouraged to take part.
He said in statement: "These documents paint a very unhappy picture, but theBBC needs to be open - more open than others would be - in confronting thefacts that lie behind Nick Pollard's report.
"A limited amount of text has been blacked out for legal reasons, but no one could say that the effect has been to sanitise this material, which again puts a spotlight on some of our failings. We need to acknowledge these shortcomings and learn from them."
He said: "...What struck me about it was his reply when I mentioned the reasons. He said: 'I'm sorry, I just can't do this'. And I thought that was a very, very unusual word to use, 'can't'...I didn't say 'what do you mean can't?' Someone has told you that you can't or you physically can't face it?
"Now I think there - my suspicion is that there may well have been an element of both."
Acting director-general: BBC 'open and transparent'
Acting BBC director-general Tim Davie said: "The BBC has been open and transparent in its handling of this unhappy chapter in our history. It has not been an entirely comfortable process for us to go through but it is right that we did it this way.
"It is important that the BBC now moves forward with the lessons learned and continues to regain the public's trust."
A BBC tribute page to Jimmy Savile had comments left by viewers removed by moderators, the revelations published today showed.
A transcript of the interview between Pollard and the former director-general George Entwistle refers to examples of the comments including one person who wrote: "One of my best friends in 1972 was molested by this creep Savile. He was never the same again.
"Killed himself in 1985. How's About That Then?"
Another person wrote: "He was a paedophile. You may not like the truth but he was. It will all tumble out now."