SAVILE – BBC – As it Happened?

Staying with the with Jimmy Savile story, (flying at concorde level to quote JS himself) we can also apply our ‘cover up’ template to the BBC’s handling of their internal inquiries.

Let us remember that:

The BBC is run under Royal Charter, therefore it is under the control of the privy council: (recall Justice Macur and Peter Morrison?)

Officers -Governors – Director-Generals – BBC Trustees are appointed by the British monarch on advice of government ministers.

The BBC Trust is the governing body of the BBC. The Trust is separate from the Executive Board which is led by the Director-General. The Executive Board is responsible for the operational delivery of BBC services and the direction of BBC editorial and creative output in line with the framework set by the Trust.

A few of the main characters in this soap – and flannel – variety performance, including.

Chris Patten, Chairman of the BBC Trust, Governor of Ditchley Foundation, linked to Bilderberg and the Trilateral Commission and Common Purpose, multi-faceted , but not a sailor – as he failed to steer a true course.
Helen Boaden, BBC director of news appeared to survive criticism, unlike her deputy Stephen Mitchell. It was widely thought, however, that she would not continue in the job, but in February Boaden accepted an offer of a new job as director of BBC Radio
Michael Grade – Controller of BBC1 (1984–86)
Jimmy Savile died on 29 October 2011

Immediately after Savile’s death BBC Newsnight began an investigation into reports that he was a paedophile.. Savile’s victims alleged abuse at Duncroft, Stoke Mandeville hospital and the BBC.   The Newsnight expose was originally scheduled for broadcast on 7 December 2011, but a decision was taken to cancel its transmission. This ‘decision’ ultimately developed into a major crisis for the BBC when a similar ITV documentary was eventually screened on 3rd October 2012.   The BBC sub-scandal involved senior executives, director-generals past and present, including the chairman of the BBC Trust, Chris Patten.  The corporation stood accused of suppressing the Newsnight programme because it could have compromised the screening of two Jimmy Savile Christmas tribute shows.

The then Director of BBC News, Helen Boaden, was accused of placing an “impossibly high barrier” before Newsnight’s plans to expose Jimmy Savile as a paedophile, by insisting that its journalists act as if he were still alive and able to sue, according to sources at the programme.  Helen Boaden then revealed that she had phoned Mark Thompson, who was BBC Director General, in November 2011,and told him of the police investigation into Savile at Duncroft. Thompson categorically denied being responsible for pulling the programme. Lord Patten was made aware of that phone call in a letter from Tory MP Rob Wilson.

Despite being handed a transcript of Boaden and Thompson’s phone conversation, Lord Patten repeatedly refused to address the issue and even warned one MP he could be sued if he attempted to go public.  Then on 22nd October 2012 came a Panorama special.

The joint BBC investigation between Panorama and The World At One, which aired on both BBC One and BBC Radio 4, asked how the DJ got so close to the heart of Britain’s establishment and why in 1972 the BBC had failed to take effective action that might have saved young people from abuse. As the scandal engulfed the BBC within weeks the corporation again came under the spotlight with their Newsnight broadcast regarding claims about abuse in North Wales – a programme in which Lord McAlpine was NOT named, but who, nonetheless, still received a large payout in compensation – for what exactly is still not fully known.

The Newsnight Savile scandal gave rise to two investigations. (dead end investigations)

Dealing with the first – The Pollard Review , headed by Nick Pollard who was the former Head of Sky News – (control over key personnel?)
The Pollard Review Terms of Reference (ToR) for both independent reviews were proposed by the BBC’s Executive Board and approved by the BBC Trust. (Sounding Familiar – same as Waterhouse?)

The Pollard Review ToR
Were there any failings in the BBC’s management of the Newsnight investigation?

The Pollard Review omitted to report on the Thompson/Boaden communication (information withheld)

The outcome
The unanimous conclusion of the four Trustees is that they are satisfied that Nick Pollard properly weighed all the evidence that was available to him and that the conclusions of his report are robust. They remain confident that Nick Pollard conducted an independent, fair and thorough examination of the issues raised by the dropped Newsnight investigation.


Dame Janet Smith Review
Lady Justice Smith has been listed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK. She is one of only four women judges sitting in the Court of Appeal, alongside Baroness Butler-Sloss, whom you may recall stood down as Chair beacuse of a ‘conflict of interest’.

Initially, Dame Janet’s remit was to”conduct an impartial, thorough and independent review of the culture and practices of the BBC during the years that Jimmy Savile worked there”… (including) whether BBC child-protection and whistleblowing policies were good enough. This would have encompassed reviewing Stuart Hall’s activities.

However, she has recused herself after it emerged that she knew Ray Colley, who had previously worked with Stuart Hall as the regional manager at BBC Manchester.  Mr Colley’s wife, was married to Dame Janet’s current husband, Robin Mathieson.
I’ll give you a moment to digest that ………………………………..

The ToR have already been revised – due to Janet’s ‘ conflict of interest’

The review is believed to be covering the years 1965 to 2006.   I say ‘believed’ since although started in 2012, the Review has still not been published…………(a little like Macur?)

It would be possible to conjecture that the Smith review may have more in common with Chilcott than simply the cost