Jimmy Savile's victims slam Jeremy Clarkson comparisons

Jimmy Savile's victims slammed Jeremy Clarkson comparisons. Credit: PA Wire

Victims of Jimmy Savile have described comparisons between the support for Jeremy Clarkson and the widespread protection offered to Savile as "upsetting" and "totally offensive".

A senior BBC figure is said to have suggested that embattled Top Gear host Clarkson is able to behave as he wishes because of his celebrated position and his support from powerful friends, including Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Mail on Sunday claimed the unnamed BBC chief compared the support for Clarkson to the way repeated sex offender Savile was defended.

Clarkson was suspended after allegedly punching Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon after filming for the show during a row over a hot meal at a hotel.

The newspaper quoted the BBC figure as saying:

The reported comments drew a furious response from victims of the former Radio 1 DJ.

Liz Dux, a lawyer from Slater and Gordon which represents 169 of Savile's victims, said such comparisons of the issues had upset them.

"Many of Savile's victims find a direct parallel between these issues to be upsetting and highly inappropriate," Dux said.

"One victim said that while both have celebrity status, to suggest other similarities is totally offensive."

A BBC spokesman said: "The BBC's position is the one we set out in a statement last week. We have an investigation led by Ken MacQuarrie to establish the facts and people should wait for the outcome of that."