Jimmy Savile scandal rages on

Media storm continues to rumble as fresh allegations emerge about Sir Jimmy Savile.
Media storm continues to rumble as fresh allegations emerge about Sir Jimmy Savile.

The media storm surrounding Sir Jimmy Savile has shown no sign of breaking this weekend as sexual abuse allegations continue to surface.

One of the most shocking revelations to emerge is that of Clair McAlpine, a dancer from Top of the Pops, who committed suicide in 1971.

A diary was discovered next to her body that contained disturbing claims that suggest she may have been a victim of Savile’s alleged sexual predatory instincts.

Almost a year after his death, the late TV star now stands accused by more than 40 women of rape or sexual assault.

This weekend his nephew, Guy Marsden, reportedly said that at the age of 13 he was taken to parties at which men abused children as young as 10.

Sccotland Yard has launched an inquiry following the string of claims made by the women who were too afraid to come forward when he was alive.

The investigation into the DJ’s alleged sexual abuse has unearthed a culture where celebrities exploited their power with impunity – and other names are cropping up.

It emerged on Friday that another BBC employee, who is alleged to have procured girls for Savile and others, is himself being accused of rape. Gary Glitter is said to be a member of the same child sex ring.

The Sunday Telegraph claims to have heard tapes, passed to the police, which suggest Savile is molesting young girls as he records items for his radio show Savile’s Travels, first broadcast in 1968.

The contents of the tapes should have been known to executives and producers working on the show at the time.

Yesterday, Liz Kershaw, a former Radio 1 disc jockey, said in a BBC interview that the station was imbued with a “culture I have never encountered before” when she began working there in the 1980s. She told the Today programme on Radio 4 that “there was one presenter who routinely groped me”, and added: “I would be sitting in the studio with my headphones on, my back to the studio door, live on air, and couldn’t hear a thing except what was in my headphones, the music playing or my own voice, and then I’d find these wandering hands up my jumper, fondling my breasts. I couldn’t say anything, I couldn’t even exclaim because I was broadcasting to the nation. When I complained to somebody, they were incredulous and said: ‘Don’t you like it, are you a lesbian?’ 

The rush to open up old wounds was prompted by an ITV documentary broadcast last Wednesday, in which five women came forward to say they had been sexually assaulted or raped by Savile at a variety of locations, including at the BBC and at Duncroft Approved School for Girls in Surrey, where Savile had helped raise money and was a regular visitor.

Since that documentary, many more women have come forward.

Julie Thornton, now 80, claims she was in another hospital bed when she saw Savile abuse a teenage girl recovering from a brain operation at Leeds General Infirmary, another of the institutions that for years lauded the star, and where Savile worked as a volunteer porter. Another woman from North Yorkshire said she too was touched inappropriately by Savile in a lift at the hospital after undergoing spinal surgery there in 1973.

Today it was revealed trustees for the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust and Jimmy Savile Stoke Mandeville Hospital Charitable Trust are considering a change of identity, worried that allegations about his behaviour will taint the organisations.

They are also thinking about giving some of their funds to “support charities that work with survivors of sexual abuse”.

However they are barred by charity rules from giving the money as direct compensation to victims and fear their money may be seen as tainted by other good causes.

On Friday Scarborough Police revealed it was stepping up patrols around sites linked to Savile.

Officers will monitor locations including Savile’s grave at Woodlands Cemetery and his former home on the Esplanade, where a memorial plaque was vandalised on Wednesday.

The plaque, which was installed last month, has since been taken down after the words “paedophile” and “rapist” were scrawled over it.

Scarborough Council is also reviewing security arrangements at Woodlands Cemetery amid fears Savile’s grave could also be targeted by vandals.

The moves come as the Prime Minister said there should be a full investigation into the “truly shocking” claims.

David Cameron has called for allegations to be fully investigated by the BBC and the police.

Mr Cameron told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “I think it is pretty shocking, the allegations that we are reading. They need to be properly looked at, properly investigated.

“It seems to me it is very important that the organisation, the BBC, does that itself.

“But also, if there are questions that should be pursued by the police and other organisations, everyone has to ask themselves the question ‘Is there new evidence that needs to be looked at? Are there new things as an organisation we should look at and examine?’

“But from what I have read - and that is just as a consumer of the media - truly shocking things have been said.”

The BBC also came under fresh pressure this weekend to explain its decision to abandon an exposé of Sir Jimmy’s sexual abuse of schoolgirls.

Meanwhile the Mental health charity, Mind, was also holding an inquiry into its involvement in the running of Duncroft School for “troubled” girls in Surrey where, it is alleged, Sir Jimmy carried out acts of sexual abuse against its pupils.