Former exec: BBC 'very slow' to deal with Savile scandal

The BBC was too slow to deal with the unfolding Jimmy Savile sex scandal, according to a former high ranking corporation executive.

Richard Sambrook, the former BBC Director of Global News who also served on the corporation's management board, said the BBC was "very slow to spot the toxic nature of the story".

He told Radio 4's Media Show:

I think initially they thought this was about what a BBC contracted performer had done privately a long time ago and 'we'll let the police deal with it', failing to realise it was actually about what may have occurred on the premises with BBC guests for which they shared a responsibility.

As soon as you have a major star who has appeared in lots of programmes accused of paedophilia on the premises it's not something you can say 'Well that's just a matter for the police"'.

Mr Sambrook added that the BBC had suffered from not replacing the role of Deputy Director-General which was eliminated as part of a cost-cutting exercise last year.

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Peter Rippon Newsnight silence

Peter Rippon, who stepped aside from his role as Newsnight editor after the programme decided not to run a report on Jimmy Savile's alleged sexual abuse, refused to comment on whether the BBC programme could survive.