The Director General of the BBC has apologised over allegations of abuse involving the late Jimmy Savile.

Police child abuse officers met BBC officials to discuss the allegations over the Leeds-born TV presenter.

The police said they were contacting all individuals who have made claims about the star and should know how many victims there are some time next week.

George Entwistle also confirmed the BBC would conduct an inquiry following a police investigation.

He spoke out a day after Prime Minister David Cameron called for allegations of sexual abuse against the celebrity to be fully investigated.

Mr Cameron said that the claims from a number of women which have emerged over recent weeks that they were abused by Savile as teenagers were "truly shocking".

Mr Entwistle said there needed to be a "comprehensive examination" of what went on.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "These are awful allegations that have been made and they are criminal allegations and the first thing I want to say is that the women involved here have gone through something awful, something I deeply regret they should have to go through and I would like to apologise on behalf of the organisation to each and every one of them for what they've had to endure here."

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "We are now collating information gathered from a range of sources across the UK and will continue contacting individuals who have made allegations in relation to the late Jimmy Savile.

"We do not expect to have a clear picture of exactly how many women may have suffered abuse until later this week and want to allow time for victims to reflect on what they may have experienced."

The force added that the "assessment of these will take some time and the BBC Investigations Service are fully co-operating with detectives."

Scotland Yard is currently considering a number of claims, including a historic rape allegation referred to Met officers by Surrey Police.

St Albans Tory MP Anne Main has also written to Lord Justice Leveson asking him to investigate how the broadcaster handled the allegations as part of his inquiry into press standards.

The BBC says it will cooperate fully with the Met Police investigation into child sex abuse claims against Sir Jimmy Savile Credit: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

BBC Director-General George Entwistle told staff in an email on Friday that he was "appalled by the things I saw in the ITV documentary".

He said: "I am determined that the corporation will do absolutely everything it can to help find out what happened."