Named: BBC bosses who '˜should have known' about Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall abuse

Dame Janet Smith highlighted several individuals who either knew about the abuse carried out by Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall, suspected it, or should have known, but failed to report it or take proper action.

Dame Janet Smith talking to the media at Broadcasting House in London following the publication of her report on Jimmy Savile.

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Dame Janet Smith talking to the media at Broadcasting House in London following the publication of her report on Jimmy Savile.

• TED BESTON, SAVILE’S RADIO 1 PRODUCER

Dame Janet said Mr Beston was a “provider” of young women for Savile, whom he “admired”, and that he knew the presenter had casual sex with teenage girls.

She highlighted a case in late 1978 or early 1979 when Mr Beston invited a 19-year-old waitress he knew to meet Savile at a drinks party. Once there the presenter took her off to a curtained area where he forcibly kissed and groped her.

The teenager, referred to as C33, ran out of the area and told Mr Beston what had happened, but he just treated her “as if she was being silly”, the report found.

Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC makes a statement at Broadcasting House in London following the publication of the Dame Janet Smith Review report on former television presenter Jimmy Savile.

Mr Beston denied knowing that Savile had sex with under-age girls, and, while Dame Janet said there is “some evidence” Mr Beston did know about this, she could not be sure he did.

Dame Janet said: “I found that he knew that Savile would have casual sex with teenage girls as and when he could get it.

“Although he denied it, I’m satisfied that Mr Beston must have realised from their appearance that some of the girls might well be under age. He admired Savile and I don’t think it ever crossed his mind that he should have reported him. But he should have done.”

• CANON COLIN SEMPER, WHO WORKED AS A PRODUCER ON SPEAKEASY AND HELPED WRITE GOD’LL FIX IT, EVENTUALLY BECAME HEAD OF RELIGIOUS PROGRAMMES AT THE BBC.

The Savile report in numbers

Dame Janet went out of her way to praise the honesty of the evidence Canon Semper gave her, and said the failure to stop Savile’s behaviour had clearly weighed heavily on his mind.

But she said Canon Semper should have reported his suspicions about Savile to his superiors at the BBC.

Following the report’s publication, Canon Semper apologised and admitted he should have taken “greater care”.

He told Sky News said: “I didn’t tell anybody of, what you might call, authority.

Jimmy Savile abused victims at the BBC's old studio on Woodhouse Lane, Leeds

“I’m very, very sorry that I was so obsessed with my programme and with getting it - as best I could - on to the air waves. I’m very sorry that I got so obsessed and I should have had greater care.

“I am sorry if I had any responsibility for what has happened over the subsequent time.”

The report states: “I accept that Canon Semper did not ‘know’ that Savile had sex with under-age girls in the sense of ever seeing it happen, but he clearly did ‘think’ that Savile had casual sex with a lot of girls, some of whom might have been under age.

“Canon Semper did not make any report to his managers. I have concluded that he ought to have discussed his concerns with a manager.”

• DOUGLAS MUGGERIDGE, CONTROLLER OF RADIO 1 AND 2 IN 1973. HE HAS SINCE DIED AND SO WAS NOT INTERVIEWED BY DAME JANET.

Mr Muggeridge launched two investigations into Savile in 1973 after hearing rumours about his sexual impropriety, but neither of these were pursued thoroughly and they failed to identify Savile’s abuse or stop it.

Dame Janet Smith talking to the media at Broadcasting House in London following the publication of her report on Jimmy Savile.

The first involved a meeting between Savile, Derek Chinnery, then head of programmes for Radio 1, and Doreen Davies, an executive producer, at which Savile’s denial appears to be taken at face value.

BBC publicity officer Rodney Collins heard of rumours about Savile from the press, but no hard evidence was found and the probe was abandoned.

In a scathing assessment of these investigations, Dame Janet said: “It appears to me that the main concern which prompted his inquiries was the risk of damage to the BBC’s reputation, rather than the welfare of any girls who might be sexually involved with Savile.

“It seemed likely that, as a result of his inquiries, he believed the rumours to be untrue. Even so, I am surprised that he should have closed the book quite as completely as he appears to have done.”

He should have shared his concerns with senior colleagues and kept an eye and ear on Savile, she said.

• RAYMOND COLLEY, THE REGIONAL TELEVISION MANAGER AT BBC MANCHESTER FROM 1970 TO 1986.

Mr Colley, one of freelancer Hall’s bosses, gave the It’s A Knockout star a talking to shortly after taking up his post about the star’s conduct. In her report Dame Janet said this suggested rumours of his sexual acts were known even then.

She criticised Mr Colley for failing to follow up this warning by checking up on the star’s behaviour at the BBC.

She said that while there was no evidence Mr Colley had known about Hall’s activities, he should have done, saying: “He overestimated his own authority and he underestimated Stuart Hall’s duplicity. Had Mr Colley kept a watch on Hall it is likely he would have been stopped.”

• TOM GERMAN, REGIONAL NEWS EDITOR AT THE BBC IN MANCHESTER IN THE 1970S.

Mr German, who has since died, was “probably aware” Hall was having sex on BBC premises, but had not known any under-age girls were involved, Dame Janet said.

She added: “If he was it seems to me he should have shared his concerns with Mr Colley. He did not do so and this may well have been the fifth missed opportunity.”

Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC makes a statement at Broadcasting House in London following the publication of the Dame Janet Smith Review report on former television presenter Jimmy Savile.
The Savile report in numbers
Jimmy Savile abused victims at the BBC's old studio on Woodhouse Lane, Leeds