Former BBC director-general Greg Dyke has criticised the corporation's response to the Jimmy Savile scandal.
He said the BBC should "have moved very quickly" to explain why a Newsnight report about allegations of sexual abuse by the late DJ was dropped and should have taken part in an ITV documentary to explain their actions.
Giving a lecture at Kingston University's Business School, he said:
"Someone had to explain why they took a decision not to do it because otherwise it left them looking suspicious and it looked like they'd been leaned on because the BBC wanted to run two specials about Jimmy Savile, which I don't believe would have happened."
Mr Dyke said: "And of course, nobody came on from the BBC and that was a big mistake. Someone should have gone on and said 'These are the editorial reasons'."
More top news
Too many patients who undergo emergency bowel surgery are dying because of inconsistent care practices, health experts have warned.
A report by a think-tank that claims more than half of households take more in benefits than pay in tax has been condemned as 'spin'.
The Education Secretary has set her sights on 'coasting' schools that have "fallen under the radar" with plans to force improvements.