BBC’s George Entwistle had a warning about Jimmy Savile’s conduct while the late presenter was still alive

by Lynn Connolly

George Entwistle resignation

Ever since ITV aired a documentary that was compiled by Mark Williams-Thomas about the late TV presenter and DJ Jimmy Savile, the allegations of child sex abuse leveled at Savile and others has rocked the nation.

And of course, many want to know why Savile’s conduct wasn’t detected or reported during his lifetime, particularly as many of the alleged abuses took place on BBC premises.

In addition, several celebrities as well as high profile BBC staff have since come forward to say they were aware of allegations about Savile’s conduct with minors, but they either did nothing or were ignored when they tried to bring the subject to the attention of anyone in authority.

So it’s unsurprising to learn that former BBC Director General George Entwistle was allegedly “warned” about Savile by a former employee.

The Daily Star reports that in May 2010, BBC executive Nick Vaughan-Barratt was asked to write an obituary for Savile, given that, at the time, he was very ill.

He apparently wrote an email which read, “We have no obit and I am not sure we would want one.

“My first job in TV was on a JS show. I saw the complex and sometimes conflicting nature of the man.

“I’d feel v queasy about an obit. I saw the real truth!!!’’


Mr Vaughan-Barratt also emailed another BBC executive, saying, “The dark side to Jim would make it impossible to make an honest film that could be shown close to death.

“But maybe one could be made for later.”

That executive then apparently emailed Entwistle saying, “I gather we didn’t prepare the obit because of the darker side of the story.

“So something celebrating a particular part of his TV career is probably better than the (life) story as there are aspects of this which are hard to tell.”

However, Entwistle, who was then head of BBC Vision, said he didn’t see the email.

The paper adds, “A £2million inquiry conducted by former Sky News chief Nick Pollard into the BBC’s decision to drop a Newsnight exposé of Savile after his death described the unread email as a ‘missed opportunity’.”

Yesterday, police probing the Savile scandal – dubbed Operation Yewtree – arrested his former BBC producer Ted Beston, who’s aged 76.

Here’s a recent news report about the Savile scandal…

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.