As the Jimmy Savile scandal rages on, the former chairman of the Children In Need charity has revealed that, after discussions with the rest of the board of the charity, it was decided that Sir Jimmy Savile should not be invited to take part in any of the charity’s appeals.
Describing the late TV presenter as “creepy”, Sir Roger Jones OBE told the Daily Star that he raised the issue of excluding Savile from any of the charity’s work after hearing “rumours” about his unhealthy interest in young children.
Speaking about his time on the board of the charity in the 1990s, Sir Roger told the paper, “We all recognised he is a creepy sort of character.
“With Children In Need we took the decision that we didn’t want him near the charity.
“We knew the biggest thing to guard against was paedophiles. They were just like flies around the honeypot…”
The paper adds, “Savile appeared on the Children In Need telethon three times – in 1984, 1987 and 1989 – all before Sir Roger became chairman.”
Sir Roger, who was also a member of BBC Wales’s board of governors between 1996 and 2002, added that he would have resigned his Children In Need role if Savile had been involved with the charity.
He said, “A guy with a big cigar in his mouth, a string vest, who is covered in gold chains and trinkets – is this really the guy who we want to become a hero for kids?”
He added, “I had no evidence but I found that his behaviour was very strange. I felt it was inappropriate.
“I couldn’t tell that he was a practising paedophile but I didn’t have to. On my watch Children In Need was properly covered.
“There were no incidents. We did everything we could to protect the children.”
Meanwhile, The National Association for People Abused in Childhood is demanding that the BBC broadcast an apology over the Savile scandal during this year’s Children In Need telethon, which airs on November 16.
Chief executive Peter Saunders said, “I’ll be writing to the Director-General George Entwistle asking the BBC to help survivors of abuse. I think they owe it to them.”
I personally can’t see any chance of that happening because surely to apologise would be to admit culpability, and from a legal stand point, I would imagine that would present the corporation with a severe headache.
Morally of course, it should happen, but as I’m sure litigation from Savile’s alleged victims will begin to be lodged any time now, I can’t see the BBC leaving themselves open to having to pay up.
Meanwhile, an audio tape has emerged which may have captured Savile touching a young girl, though this hasn’t been confirmed and wasn’t – apparently – witnessed.
Here’s the clip…