Savile Fallout
Gets Beeb In A Twist

The fallout from the allegations of former “Top Of The Pops” presenter Jimmy Savile being a pedophile has plunged the BBC into what’s being called “its biggest crisis in 50 years.”

That’s the view of veteran BBC foreign editor John Simpson, who said the Savile scandal has left the national broadcaster in a “very dangerous” position.

Having just announced that former Sky News chief Nick Pollard will head a review of why the BBC scrapped last November’s screening of a “Newsnight” programme that probed Savile, and with its own top brass refusing to comment until it’s been completed, the network now finds that “Panorama” – it’s flagship in-depth news programme – will broadcast its own findings Oct. 22. 
Pollard’s review, which will run in parallel with former High Court Judge Dame Janet Smith’s independent review into what the BBC knew about Savile, is yet to get under way.
The “Panorama” probe into the scrapping of the “Newsnight” documentary effectively has one of the corporation’s major news programmes lifting the lid on what went on behind the scenes at the other.
The UK papers are saying the “Panorama” programme will have BBC director general George Entwistle being accused by his own journalists of misleading the public about his role in the dropping of the “Newsnight” piece.
It’s also expected to indicate that showing the “Newsnight” documentary would have led to the Beeb either being embarrassed or having to alter its schedules as it had already planned a Christmas tribute to Savile called “How’s About That Then?,” named after one of his catchphrases and focusing on the work he did to raise millions for various charities.
The “Panorama programme,” which is called “Jimmy Savile – What The BBC Knew,” is also expected to show that BBC head of news Helen Boaden warned Entwistle that screening the “Newsnight” documentary on Savile could result in the network needing to drop its Savile tributes.
The BBC has said the “Newsnight” investigation was pulled for “editorial reasons.” 
It said it was to look into whether Surrey Police had acted properly when failing to prosecute Savile for pedophilia in 2007.
A few hours before “Panorama” was to be screened, Peter Rippon – the “Newsnight” editor who dropped the investigation – is “steeping aside.” 
The “Panorama” programme will also have “Newsnight” investigative reporter Liz Mackean saying that the her team was looking at Savile, rather than the Surrey police, and that they had interviews with five people who claimed to be among his victims.
That raises the question of whether the scrapped “Newsnight” programme contained material that the BBC should have passed on to the police.