Leaked report claims BBC culture criticised by Jimmy Savile review

The BBC has been criticised for a "deferential culture" within which Jimmy Savile's paedophile activities took place, according to an agency that has seen a leaked version of a report.

According to news agency Exaro, Dame Janet Smith's review, set up in 2012, accuses the BBC of having "untouchable stars" and "above the law" managers.

The review said it was "disappointed" the report had been leaked and said the version seen by Exaro was an early draft and "out of date".

According to a BBC news report, the corporation has not seen a copy of the leaked review.

BBC Director-General Tony Hall said the final report would be invaluable to help learn the lessons of a "dark chapter" in the history of the corporation.

Dame Janet's review was launched by the BBC in 2012 in the wake of revelations of a long campaign of sexual abuse by the late star, with the aim of investigating the culture and practices of the corporation during Savile's time there. Former DJ, TV presenter and charity fundraiser Savile died aged 84 in 2011.

Dame Janet Smith's review was set up in 2012. Credit: PA

The retired judge does not criticise the BBC for not uncovering the abuse, it is claimed.

According to Exaro, many BBC employees told the review they had heard about Savile's abuse but feared reporting the allegations to managers.

Dame Janet reportedly accepts the claims of senior figures that they were unaware of Savile's sexual misconduct.

The extracts claimed the review was told of incidents taking place in "virtually every one of the BBC premises" where Savile worked.

According to Exaro, the report also:

  • Warns another "predatory child abuser" could be lurking undiscovered in the BBC today

  • Outlines multiple rapes and indecent assaults on girls and boys and incidents of inappropriate sexual conduct with teenagers above 16

  • Claims celebrities were treated with "kid gloves" at the BBC

In a statement, the review said: "That document is out of date and significant changes have been made to its contents and conclusions.

"The document should not have been made public and cannot be relied upon in any circumstances.

Incidents reportedly took place in 'virtually every one of the BBC premises' where Savile worked. Credit: PA

"The review will work with the BBC to arrange publication of its final report as quickly as possible to ensure that accurate and responsible reporting can take place."

The BBC Director-General said he hoped the final report will be published "as swiftly as possible".

"While I’m impatient to learn those lessons, the responsible thing must be to act on the final report, which we’ve not yet received," said Mr Hall.

Asked about suggestions there could by another "predatory child abuser" lurking in the BBC today, he said: "I am doing all that I can, and the team is doing all that they can, to make sure that there is no predatory behaviour going on within the BBC."