After about 20 years of hosting children’s television shows and countless time spent in children’s hospitals for charity work, the true character of the late and formerly popular television and BBC radio presenter, Jimmy Savile, has come to light.
While his crimes of pedophilia and sexual abuse have been public knowledge since the BBC commercial rival ITV exposed the dark reality of Jimmy Savile in October, recent developments have proven that the repercussions extend far beyond Savile’s reputation and include implications for BBC and significant British figures.
“Jim’ll Fix It” and “Top of the Pops” were two shows that Savile was known and loved for. Unfortunately, these were also the family-oriented shows which provided Savile with opportunities to commit his crimes.
However, the various television shows he hosted and hospitals he visited were not the only scenes of his abuse. Apparently some of Savile’s crimes were committed on BBC premises, leading child abuse lawyer Peter Garsden to suggest that it was a typical cover-up story by BBC, unjustly kept secret until fully investigated years later.
Because of this, BBC is now accused of allegations of complicity in the child abuse scandal due to both negligence of abuse on BBC premises and their failure to prevent an employee from committing such crimes. Even more suspicious are the actions by BBC leading up to a December 2011 tribute to Savile and his charity work.
Until shortly before this tribute aired, the broadcast that was originally scheduled to air would uncover the truth behind Jimmy Savile’s crimes. This original broadcast was dropped, last minute, for unexplained “editorial reasons.”
And it doesn’t end there. Nov. 16, a settlement was reached between BBC and Alistaire McAlpine (member of the House of Lords), who was wrongly accused of involvement in Savile’s crimes. When a “Newsnight” report came out on November 2, it was suggested that a “Leading conservative politician had been among [the] abusers” of Savile’s victims.
While a name was not given, social media outlets spent the day leading up to the news broadcast implying McAlpine’s had a role in the scandal. Now, BBC faces the task of apologizing to McAlpine and compensating him and others affected by the false allegation.
BBC is currently dealing with the repercussions of Savile’s crimes years after many of them occurred. The fact that Savile’s interest in younger girls throughout his life was considered an “open secret” among his colleagues leaves BBC with the task of issuing ongoing apologies for Savile’s actions.
It furthermore has led to BBC's promise of multiple investigations, including both “forensic and soul-searching examinations,” as defined by former BBC Director General George Entwistle (forced to resign after the false “Newsnight” program regarding McAlpine). Actions taken by different parties include the removal and destruction of Savile’s burial headstone by his own family members, who were disgusted to hear of his crimes.
His knighthood from both Queen Elizabeth II and the Vatican for his charity work are under consideration and he is likely to be stripped of them.
Savile was no small figure while he was alive. He remains significant even now as those who were victims of his abuses are haunted by his memory and friends of Savile attempt to compensate for his wrongdoing.