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Savile producer 'sorry' he didn't report paedophile

A report found the BBC allowed Savile to abuse 72 people. Credit: PA

A TV producer who worked with Jimmy Savile has said he is sorry he did not report the paedophile.

Canon Colin Semper, who helped produce Speakeasy, a teenage radio show on the BBC in the 1960s and 1970s, said he should have taken "greater care".

He told Sky News: "I didn't tell anybody of, what you might call, authority.

"I'm very, very sorry that I was so obsessed with my programme and with getting it - as best I could - on to the air waves. I should have had greater care.

"I am sorry if I had any responsibility for what has happened over the subsequent time."

A report into Savile by Dame Janet Smith found the canon "ought to have discussed his concerns with a manager".

It added: "I accept that Canon Semper did not 'know' that Savile had sex with underage girls in the sense of ever seeing it happen.

"But he clearly did 'think' that Savile had casual sex with a lot of girls, some of whom might have been underage."


'Sacked' Tony Blackburn 'hung out to dry' by BBC

DJ Tony Blackburn while working at BBC London. Credit: PA

Tony Blackburn said the BBC has "hung me out to dry" after he was "sacked" by the corporation over his evidence to a sex abuse review into Jimmy Savile.

He said: "My lawyers are now considering all statements made by the BBC about me today and we will be taking action."

Rantzen heard rumours about 'very peculiar' Savile

Esther Rantzen said she heard a rumour about Savile early in her career at the BBC Credit: PA

Jimmy Savile was a "very peculiar man" but a lack of evidence at the time meant allegations of sexual abuse remained only rumours, Dame Esther Rantzen has said.

The veteran BBC presenter said that she had heard a rumour from a journalist about Savile early on in her career at the BBC but "as Dame Janet said, there is a real difference between rumour and gossip [compared to] evidence".

Rantzen, who helped found Childline in 1986, was referring to Dame Janet Smith who today published a report on the BBC's handling of complaints about Savile.

"Throughout my career at the BBC I never heard anyone disclosing that Jimmy had abused them," she said.

But she said: "He was a very, very peculiar man. He wore a mask all the time ... and now we know what he was hiding."


  1. London

Thousands sign petition to get Tony Blackburn back on the radio

A petition to get Tony Blackburn back on the radio was signed by nearly 2,000 people hours after first appearing online.

The petition was set up shortly before the BBC Director General, Tony Hall, confirmed Blackburn had "parted company" with the corporation.

The campaign to reinstate Tony Blackburn said the BBC should be "ashamed at their treatment of a loyal employee".

Lord Hall confirms DJ Blackburn 'parted company' with BBC

Tony Blackburn arrives at his home on Thursday. Credit: PA

BBC director general Lord Hall has confirmed that veteran DJ Tony Blackburn has "parted company" with the corporation.

Blackburn earlier said he had been sacked by the BBC over his evidence to the Jimmy Savile sex abuse review.

Lord Hall said: "My interpretation is that Tony Blackburn fell short of the standards of evidence that such an inquiry demanded."

BBC director general apologises to Savile and Hall victims

Lord Hall apologised to the victims.

The director general of the BBC has apologised to the victims of Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall.

Lord Hall said: "The BBC failed you when it should have protected you.

"I'm deeply sorry for the hurt caused to each and every one of you."

He added: "Savile committed his crimes in many places but it was the BBC that made him famous.

"What this terrible episode tells us is that fame is power, a very strong form of power.

"And like all power it must be held to account, it must be challenged and it must be scrutinised, and it wasn't."

'Disturbingly easy' for Savile to get away with abuse

Credit: PA

Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, said: "This report demonstrates just how disturbingly easy at the time it was for Savile to get away, unchallenged, with despicable acts against children at the BBC. The impact on his victims has been profound - as we have already witnessed from calls to our helpline.

"It is tragic that a culture existed at the BBC in which Savile became too powerful to confront, so allowing him to use his celebrity status to abuse at will, leaving a trail of devastation in his wake.

"The BBC must ensure staff can easily raise concerns and that robust safeguarding procedures are in place to effectively act on these so that a scandal of this kind, never mind this magnitude, is never repeated."

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