HIS was the face of popular entertainment for decades.
Yet Jimmy Savile’s depravity was such that most people, not least his many, many victims, are now so repulsed by the predatory paedophile’s photograph that they do not deserve gratuitous reminders of it.
As Dame Janet Smith’s sickening report yesterday revealed the extent to which the manipulative broadcaster abused his position at the BBC, and the trust of his young fans, The Yorkshire Evening Post has decided against publishing his picture. We’ve had enough of it. And we’re sure you have too.
Savile’s victims – the most important people of all – continue to be haunted by Savile from beyond the grave because there seems to be no end to the revelations.
So, too, do all those who were taken in by his depraved deceit and how he used his celebrity status to abuse the vulnerable and the impressionable with total impunity for decades.
In light of Dame Janet’s harrowing findings, the broadcaster, and other institutions, have a moral duty to review their safeguarding procedures to ensure that such a betrayal can never happen today. This is made all the more necessary by her damning conclusion that “an atmosphere of fear still exists today in the BBC” – an organisation which missed at least five chances to bring Savile to justice.
And, given many find it inconceivable that the Corporation’s most senior executives were not aware of the scale of the cover-up that was taking place on their watch because of a culture of “reverence and fear” towards so-called ‘celebrities’, the onus must be on the BBC to demonstrate that lessons have been learned.
It can begin by demonstrating the robustness of its whistleblowing procedures.
In the meantime, the priority for the Government, police and others is providing support to those victims who have come forward and those who might now have the courage to do so – a more enlightened approach to abuse allegations is about the only positive to emerge from this scandal, and others, which have so sickened the nation.
What is so utterly dismaying about this whole dreadful episode, is that had someone acted sooner, the wretched Savile might have been brought face to face with his crimes after all – and been made to pay for them.