BBC denies claims over Savile report

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THE BBC has strongly denied newspaper claims it axed a Newsnight investigation into allegations about Sir Jimmy Savile to protect its reputation.

Newsnight had investigated allegations that the former Top of the Pops host, who died in October aged 84, may have sexually abused teenage girls in his dressing room at the BBC’s Television Centre in the 1970s.

The report was due to be screened in December but was shelved by bosses.

However, the programme’s editor Peter Rippon said yesterday the report was shelved because it could not be “substantiated”.

He said: “It is absolutely untrue that the Newsnight investigation was dropped for anything other than editorial reasons.

“We have been very clear from the start that the piece was not broadcast because the story we were pursuing could not be substantiated. To say otherwise is false and very damaging to the BBC and individuals.

“To allege that we are withholding evidence from the police is also damaging and false. The notion that internal pressure was applied appears to be a malicious rumour.”