The BBC & Jimmy Savile Scandal


For decades, Savile was an icon of British Television. A larger than life star who endlessly entertained, helped raise millions for charities, and courted fans far and wide. And so in the year since his death, many Britons were shocked to learn that the man referred to as Saint Jimmy may have been sexually abusing children for years. And the BBC now finds itself drowning in scandal. We cross the Atlantic to hear about the Savile Scandal today.

The BBC & Jimmy Savile Scandal - Managing Editor, CBC London

We started this segment with a clip from British documentary maker Louis Theroux interviewing the late British entertainer Sir Jimmy Savile in 2000. For decades, Savile was one of the country's best-loved entertainers. He was a key feature of the BBC's light entertainment programming. On his iconic show Jim'll Fix It, Savile would make children and teenagers' 'dreams come true'.

But now, a year after his death, allegations suggest Savile was at the centre of nightmares. British police are investigating claims spanning decades -- that the late host sexually abused hundreds of young people.

To tell us more about the case and the alleged abuse, we were joined by Ann MacMillan. She is the managing editor of the CBC London, England Bureau and she was in our London studio.

The BBC & Jimmy Savile Scandal - Lawyer

Police say the number of abuse allegations is unprecedented and the number of potential victims is staggering.

Alicia Alinia is a lawyer with Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London. She's part of a team representing the alleged victims. Alicia Alinia was also in our London studio.

The BBC & Jimmy Savile Scandal - Psychology Professor

Many Britons want to know how something so horrifying could possibly be allowed to happen at an institution like the BBC.

Jennifer Freyd is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon and she has studied the dynamics that can cause institutions to turn a blind eye to abuse. Her book, Blind to Betrayal will be published next year.

Jennifer Freyd joined us on Skype from Eugene, Oregon.

This segment was produced by The Current's Ben Edwards.

Last Word - Las Vegas Promo

As you know, next week is a big one for The United States -- and for us at The Current as we seek out the stories illuminating why and how Americans will choose their next leader.

The Current's Josh Bloch visited the state with the highest unemployment to see how the campaign is playing out there. He'll have a full report on Monday's program. In the mean time, he gets the last word.

Other segments from today's show:

Hurricane Sandy & Socioeconomic Status

Improving Aboriginal Education