Britain shocked by pedophile revelations about BBC star
Updated: 2012-10-28 13:44
LONDON - A child sex abuse scandal of late BBC star Jimmy Savile continued to dominate major British papers over the weekend, after police said on Thursday that they had identified more some 300 possible victims, many under the age of 16 when the assault took place.
Savile, who died aged 84 in October last year, was one of Britain's top broadcasters and presented a string of programs that brought him into contact with children - most notably Jim'll Fix It, in which he made the wishes of youngsters come true.
"It's now looking possible that Jimmy Savile was one the most prolific sex offenders the NSPCC has ever come across," a spokesman for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said.
The chief police officer in charge of the investigation into Savile also said the police were dealing with "alleged abuse on an unprecedented scale."
Disgraced British entertainer Jimmy Savile is seen arriving at the unveiling of a new monument, commemorating the fighter pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain, in London in this Sept 18, 2005 file photograph. [Photo/Agencies]
Disc Jockey and TV personality
Savile was a former miner who rose to fame and fortune on the fringes of the pop music business.
He entered the world of entertainment as a wrestler, and then became the manager of a nightclub in his home city of Leeds, in the north of England.
When pop music and radio stations became a phenomenon in the 1960s, Savile became a disc jockey, first with Radio Luxembourg and then with the BBC.
Savile remained at the BBC from the mid-1960s until only a few years before his death. His radio career lasted 19 years on BBC Radio 1, but his parallel TV career lasted over 40 years and he was for several decades one of the most recognizable figures on British TV, the presenter of several of the most popular TV shows, and an icon of BBC broadcasting.
Savile dedicated much time to raising money for charity, through personal appearances and running marathons, and was said to have raised as much as 40 million pounds (about $64 million) over his lifetime.
But the abuse allegations that emerged since his death in October 2011 have destroyed his reputation.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), London's police force and the largest police force in Britain, has led the national investigation into Savile for the past three weeks.
Police officers on the MPS's Operation Yewtree have spoken to more than one hundred women who claimed that Savile sexually assaulted them.
A total of 300 have so far come forward with claims against Savile, some dating back 50 years ago.
Yewtree's commanding officer Peter Spindler said that the investigation had revealed that there were other people who might be implicated in the child sex abuse scandal.
"There is Savile but there are also others and if those others are living we can now look at them," Spindler said.
Questions have been raised about the competence of the police, after it was revealed that at least seven investigations into Savile's activities had been started and then dropped from the 1980s onwards.
The police, meanwhile, said they dropped investigations at the time after victims said they did not want to continue or through lack of evidence.