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BBC Trust requests explanation over Savile recording

Nick Pollard led a review into the sequence of events surrounding Newsnight's shelved report into Jimmy Savile's activities.
Nick Pollard led a review into the sequence of events surrounding Newsnight's shelved report into Jimmy Savile's activities. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The BBC's governing body has asked former news executive Nick Pollard for an explanation about a recording which has been published online in which he discusses his failure to include some evidence in his report into the Savile scandal.

In the phone recording he talks about why he did not include a claim by the BBC's former director of news Helen Boaden that she had informed then-director-general Mark Thompson that a proposed Newsnight report was looking into sex abuse allegations against late DJ Jimmy Savile.

Mr Pollard led a review into the sequence of events surrounding Newsnight's shelved report into Savile's activities which eventually led to a huge crisis at the corporation and the departure of a later director-general, George Entwistle, after only 54 days in the post.

The edited recording, which lasts more than five minutes, was posted on the Guido Fawkes political blog, includes former Sky News chief Mr Pollard explaining that he did not include Ms Boaden's claim in the report because he did not recognise its significance at the time.

Emails 'show BBC concerns' about Newsnight's Savile exposé

An email reportedly leaked from the BBC press office shows the broadcaster had concerns about the content of a Newsnight investigation into allegations sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile.

The email, leaked to The Times, shows the investigation was advanced enough for the press office to be preparing for a possible negative reaction. It said:

Hi there,

Had quick chat with Liz Mackean earlier which reminded me that your Jimmy Savile piece is in the pipeline. Last time I talked with Meirion you were focusing on allegations of abuse victims willing to speak on the record. Is this still the case?

Aside from any promotional efforts, we may well need to do a bit of managing around this - despite such rumours circulating in the media for years.

Read the full email on The Times (£).

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