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'Serious failings' at BBC allowed Savile to abuse 72 people

“Serious failings” at the BBC allowed Jimmy Savile to rape and sexually assault 72 people, a damning report has found.

Dame Janet Smith's review found there was a culture of "reverence and fear" towards celebrities at the corporation.

One employee who complained about Savile was told: "Keep your mouth shut, he is a VIP."

After the report's publication, BBC director-general Lord Hall apologised to the victims, saying: "The BBC failed you when it should have protected you."

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Dame Janet: 'Talent' was more valuable to BBC than values

Jimmy Savile died in 2011. Credit: PA

BBC "talent" such as Jimmy Savile were more important to the corporation than its values, one witness told Dame Janet Smith during her investigation into abuse by the star.

Dame Janet said celebrities like Savile and Stuart Hall were "treated with kids gloves" and were "virtually untouchable".

She said the failure to properly investigate alleged abuse of young girls on Top of the Pops in the 1970s showed the BBC was more concerned about its reputation than the welfare of the youngsters.

"One witness told me that the talent were more valuable to the BBC than their own values," Dame Janet said.

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