Jimmy Savile was a "very peculiar man" but a lack of evidence at the time meant allegations of sexual abuse remained only rumours, Dame Esther Rantzen has said.
The veteran BBC presenter said that she had heard a rumour from a journalist about Savile early on in her career at the BBC but "as Dame Janet said, there is a real difference between rumour and gossip [compared to] evidence".
Rantzen, who helped found Childline in 1986, was referring to Dame Janet Smith who today published a report on the BBC's handling of complaints about Savile.
"Throughout my career at the BBC I never heard anyone disclosing that Jimmy had abused them," she said.
But she said: "He was a very, very peculiar man. He wore a mask all the time ... and now we know what he was hiding."
A former Jim'll Fix It producer said he thought Savile's presence was "unnerving" to children.
Katrina Rose was just 14 when she was abused by Jimmy Savile but told ITV News she fears a similar scandal could happen again now.
Jimmy Savile's abuse could have been stopped if people had listened to "the small voice standing up against authority", Lord Hall has said.