The late Jimmy Savile, an English television personality known for his role on the show “Jim'll Fix It,” is being accused of sexually abusing schoolgirls while working at the BBC.
Savile, who died last year and was knighted by the queen for his charitable work, was respected in British society before allegations surfaced that claim the state-funded broadcaster covered up allegations against one of its top entertainers.
"I felt Jim had persuaded us all, audiences, fans, television professionals, even the pope, to create a myth around Saintly Jim so that he became untouchable," Esther Rantzen, a former BBC colleague and campaigner for child abuse victims, said in an article for the Mail on Sunday newspaper.
"One of the assaults had even been witnessed by the member of a television production team. So why was nothing done?" Rantzen wrote.
Savile was widely known as the first and last presenter of the long-running BBC music chart show “Top of the Pops,” as well as being a dedicated charity fundraiser.
When he died in October last year at 84, his gold coffin went on public display and he was lauded as a "national treasure" who had raised millions of pounds for good causes.
But according to a Reuters report, a TV documentary is to be broadcast on Wednesday that will show a side of Savile that the British people never saw.
"Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile" charges that he sexually abused underage girls as well as 10 women who have reportedly come forward to say they were also victims.
Reuters cites sources that say the alleged attacks occurred when the girls were as young as 12 and even took place on BBC premises.
In addition, it was discovered that an investigation by "Newsnight," the BBC's flagship TV news show, into the Savile sex abuse case was closed abruptly last December. The suspicious halt to the inquiry led many to believe that executives at BBC knew about the allegations but kept them quiet.
The BBC has denied any coverup and said its investigations unit would assist the police probe.
"A number of serious and disturbing allegations have been made over the past few days about the sexual abuse of teenage girls by Sir Jimmy Savile," the BBC said in a statement.
"Some of these allegations relate to activity on BBC premises in the 1960s and '70s. We are horrified by allegations that anything of this sort could have happened at the BBC, or have been carried out by anyone working for the BBC."
Savile’s two shows with the BBC, the "Top of the Pops" weekly chart show and his "Jim'll Fix It," regularly brought him into contact with children.
The host was known to run marathons for charity, raising tens of millions of pounds, particularly for Stoke Mandeville hospital, the birthplace of the Paralympic Games, which has an internationally renowned unit for spinal injuries.
Despite his good deeds, Rantzen describes Savile as overly tactile by nature and in her opinion, quite unnerving.
"The fact is that Sir Jim deceived all of us who enabled him to build his image as a national treasure, and do what he wanted to vulnerable children who were prevented from speaking out by the legend he had created," she said, according to Reuters.
Paul Gambaccini, a former radio colleague, told the newswire that he had long expected such stories to emerge and believed Savile used his charity work to conceal his private life.