Savile Inquiry: Transcripts Published Showing Savile Rumours ‘Common Gossip’

The BBC has today published transcripts relating to the Pollard Report which was originally published in December.

The review was undertaken by former Head of Sky News Nick Pollard in the wake of the Savile scandal which plunged the BBC into crisis late last year. Thousands of pages of documents have been placed online by the BBC, but they have come into criticism as some transcripts have been redacted.

Jeremy Paxman, anchor of BBC Two’s Newsnight programme, has said that it was “common gossip” that Savile liked young children. “It was, I would say, common gossip that Jimmy Savile liked, you know, young – it was always assumed to be girls. I don’t know whether it was girls or boys. I have no evidence of it, and I never saw anything that made me take it more seriously than it being common gossip.” – Paxman

Paxman went on to criticise the management of BBC News, saying that they were ‘radio people’ , adding “These people belong to a different kind of culture.”

It was the dropped Newsnight investigation into Jimmy Savile being a paedophile that led to the chaos which engulfed the BBC. Director General George Entwistle was criticised for his handling of the crisis. He resigned after Newsnight did air an investigation into a high profile paedophile ring, which alluded to a well known former Conservative politician.

“The BBC has been open and transparent in its handling of this unhappy chapter in our history. It has not been an entirely comfortable process for us to go through but it is right that we did it this way. It is important that the BBC now moves forward with the lessons learned and continues to regain the public’s trust.” – Acting Director General Tim Davie