BBC · Child Sexual Abuse · In the News · PIE · Satanic Ritual Abuse · Uncategorized

Dame Janet Smith Review -Savile & BBC



I normally reserve this blog for formal research reference points, but today I’m going to break my rules slightly because I’m incensed by the findings of the Smith Review and so angry on behalf of the victims who have been wronged… again.  Yet again the BBC has been absolved of any real responsibility for abuse that took place on their premises/elsewhere and by their staff, although they have come in for some damning criticism.  You only have to search Google to be “rewarded” with a lengthy list of articles that embroil different people from BBC in abuse of all sorts.

Secondly I apologise for the length of this blog.  The review is extensive as is my own research and I want to include as much as I can.  As always, if there is anything omitted or wrong, please contact me so that I can include it or put the record straight.


The Dame Janet Smith Review

The Review can be read here: Dame Janet Smith Review

Here are the main findings of the review:

  • Dame Janet was given no formal powers to insist on senior managers to give evidence.  Therefore there was unheard evidence.
  • Some BBC staff were aware of Savile’s inappropriate sexual conduct.
  • Savile would satisfy himself sexually on BBC premises whenever the opportunity arose.
  • There was a culture of fear at the BBC that still exists today.
  • Complaints by girls were ignored and the girls were regarded as a “nuisance”.
  • A junior female employee was told to “keep your mouth shut, he’s a VIP” when she alerted her supervisor that she had been sexually assaulted by Savile.
  • BBC staff missed a number of opportunities dating back to 1960s to stop Savile’s sexual offending.
  • Dame Janet states that although certain junior and middle-ranking staff at BBC were aware of Savile’s abuse, she found no evidence to suggest that the BBC as a corporate body were made aware.
  • Savile sexually assaulted 72 people (male and female) in connection with his work for BBC dating back to 1959.
  • Stuart Hall had 21 victims, whose offending dates back to 1960s, Dame Linda Dobbs found.
  • Eight rapes on BBC premises.
  • Dame Janet heard evidence that Savile offended in virtually every one of the BBC premises at which he worked.
  • Eight complaints were made against Savile to the BBC by the late 1960s but were either brushed off or not escalated.
  • Savile abused a girl in front of tv cameras on Top of the Pops in 1976.  Her complaint was “shrugged off”.
  • Ian Hampton attempted to alert staff after appearing on TOTP and not only hearing rumours about Savile abusing young girls, but he also spotted Savile leaving the studio with a young girl. He was told not to be silly. He also reported it to Robert Nash (producer) but was told not be “so ridiculous”.
  • There was a culture of not reporting complaints from 1970s-1990s.
  • There is a particular fear of whistleblowing at BBC.
  • ‘Members of the Talent’ were almost exempt and protected from complaint due to feelings of reverence and fear of losing their jobs.
  • Found no evidence that senior management were alerted to the offending.
  • If some people had acted on their concerns, Savile could have been stopped sooner.
  • In 1970s, Canon Semper appeared on a programme with Savile, was subsequently promoted to Head of Religious Programming.  Although he didn’t know Savile was a prolific abuser, he admitted that he did “think” that Savile was having casual sex with underage girls (abuse, then!) yet failed to report those concerns.
  • In 1973 Douglas Muggeridge (Controller of Radio 1 & 2) heard rumours about Savile and set up a meeting that included Savile amongst others. Savile denied any truth to the rumours and was believed.  However, the Inquiry has found that Muggeridge’s concerns were for the reputation of the BBC rather than welfare of children.
  • BBC radio publicity officer, Rodney Collins, also investigated but could find no evidence.
  • The BBC were alerted by news articles in 1969 and 1971 (Payola scandal).
  • It cannot be ruled out that a prolific sex abuser could be lurking within the BBC even today.
  • Most importantly, both Dame Janet and Dame Linda formally acknowledge that victims must not blame themselves for what happened or for not reporting it.


Savile Cover Up

I knew about Savile’s depravity back in the 1990s, when a lone person had a website outing him as a pervert. It was removed from the internet twice.  After the first time, the person concerned stated that they had been warned off.  So if little ol’ me and others knew in the 1990s about allegations against Savile, I absolutely refuse to be believe that staff at managerial level and above at the BBC were oblivious to his repugnant sexual proclivities.  The reporting and admissions are relentless:

What about others?

The Payola Scandal

Here is a selection of old newspaper articles concerning the Payola scandal which embroiled BBC DJs and producers: Payola, Janie Jones, Savile & BBC

Here is my previous blog entry all about Payola from last year: Scepticpeg Payola November 2015

The Fall-out

Last night it was confirmed that veteran DJ Tony Blackburn has been sacked by the BBC.  The papers state it was because he was DJ referred to within the Smith Review as DJ A7 who was implicated in the suicide of 15 year old Clair McAlpine: Clair McAlpine’s diary of abuse at the hands of BBC ‘stars’

However, Tony Blackburn has released a statement claiming he was sacked because of the evidence he gave to Dame Janet, which contradicted the BBC’s evidence.  Blackburn’s denial

Stuart Hall, on the other hand, has vowed to take revenge on his victims: Daily Mirror – February 2016

BBC Apology

BBC Trust statement on the publication of the Dame Janet Smith review

Date: 25.02.2016     Last updated: 25.02.2016 at 09.59

I am saddened and appalled by the events recounted here and in a few moments I want to address how we will aim to ensure we never allow them to happen again.

But our primary thoughts must be with the victims – the survivors of the abuse perpetrated by Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall. Today’s reports lay bare the full horror of what happened to them. Those experiences can never be erased.

No one reading the reports can be in any doubt that the BBC failed them. It failed, not just them, but the public, its audiences and its staff.

It turned a blind eye, where it should have shone a light. And it did not protect those who put their trust in it.

On behalf of the BBC and its staff past and present, I want to apologise to the survivors for all they have suffered. I also want to commit to them directly, that we will ensure the BBC does everything it possibly can to prevent any such events in the future.

And I also want to record my thanks. We owe the survivors an enormous debt of gratitude for the courage they have shown in coming forward to share their experiences – their horrific experiences – with the Review team. Their bravery has created a vastly deeper understanding of the issues and I am confident that, from here forward, nothing will be the same.

We believe that these reports are clear, thorough and authoritative, and I would like to express my sincere thanks to Dame Janet Smith, Dame Linda Dobbs and the review team. We accept the conclusions and recommendations of their reports in their entirety.

We have published both reports in full and un-redacted.

It is transparently in the public interest to do so. The survivors and the public have a right to understand not just what happened, but how it was allowed to happen. Who knew what and why processes failed. And to have the confidence that the BBC is taking all appropriate action.

We need to restore the public’s trust in the BBC. We need to demonstrate – through our actions – that the BBC’s values are for everyone and non-negotiable.

For, as Dame Janet makes clear, these events happened in the past but they raise serious issues that remain relevant and need to be addressed today.

We fully support Dame Janet’s recommendation that the BBC Executive immediately reviews its policies and procedures on child protection, complaints, whistleblowing, and investigations – and that all of those should also be independently audited and published. It is important that this work also takes account of the variety of working relationships people have with the BBC, from freelancers and occasional contractors through to full time members of staff.

The plans that Tony Hall has put forward today represent a thorough response to this recommendation. The Trust will work alongside the Executive to ensure that the BBC takes all further steps that it needs to as quickly as it possibly can.

Dame Janet also makes challenging observations about the BBC’s culture. It is clear that the public expect the BBC to keep to the highest possible standards, but the BBC failed.  And Dame Janet finds the status given to celebrities, the BBC’s hierarchical structure and the lack of cohesion between its different departments present unique challenges which must be overcome if serious wrongdoing is to be exposed.

The cultural change that must take place has to be both substantial and permanent. The BBC must engage fully with its staff, listen to its critics and submit policies and culture to external scrutiny.

I have discussed this with Tony Hall at length and have no doubt that he is absolutely committed to achieving this.

He also recognises that for change to be genuine and lasting, it requires the active involvement and support of those working within and around the organisation. The Trust will do whatever it can to help the management achieve this change and, if necessary, to push them to do more or go further. There are long-term and deep-seated issues to tackle, but today’s reports provide a clear impetus to do so urgently and openly. To that end, the Trust will continue to pursue these questions with the DG, taking stock of his progress at each of its monthly meetings for the remainder of the year.

These events will forever be a source of deep regret and shame. Many people were failed by those who should have protected and supported them. Our commitment to the survivors and to the public is to ensure we do everything possible to prevent this happening again.


Variety Club of Great Britain


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