- 17 октября 2012, 14:30
Journalist John Simpson wrote in autobiography that top executives knew of allegations against star in 50s and 60s
The row over Jimmy Savile's four-decade career at the BBC has intensified after it emerged that the veteran journalist John Simpson claimed that top executives knew of sexual abuse by another star presenter in the 1950s and 60s.
Simpson referred to the star in his 1999 autobiography as "Uncle Dick" and said he had been a household name from the 1920s until his death in 1967. He claimed that BBC bosses up to the level of director general were aware of the allegations.
The former BBC News world affairs editor said he was told about sexual abuse by the star when he died and was asked to write an obituary.
"Week after week, children from all over the country could win competitions to visit the BBC and meet Uncle Dick," Simpson wrote in Strange Places, Questionable People.
"He would welcome them, show them around, give them lunch, then take them to the gents and interfere with them. If parents complained, the director general's office would write saying the nation wouldn't understand such an accusation against a much-loved figure."
The BBC refused to comment on the identity of the presenter.
There were also fresh allegations on Wednesday that Savile had assaulted a paperboy after inviting him into his flat to give him a Christmas bonus.
The man, who does not want to be identified, told the Sun he was just 15 when Savile lunged at him. "He thought he was invincible. It had haunted me ever since and now it's 10 times as bad."
He said the reason he had never spoken of it before was because "there was no way I would have been believed and I would have humiliated myself".
Roger Ordish, the former producer of Jim'll Fix It, also spoke out against Savile on Wednesday. He told the Sun he knew nothing about the child abuse and said he felt he had been "hoodwinked" by a "manipulative man". He said he was shattered by the revelations and had let Savile stay at his home in a room next to his 14-year-old daughter.
"I hope that is some indication we'd no suspicion of anything of this nature at all."
Also on Wednesday, Stoke Mandeville hospital announced that it has renamed a cafe called Jimmy's after Savile following allegations that patients were abused by the deceased star. It is now to be named after the volunteering charity WRVS.
The cafe was opened by Savile in 2005 after his years of fundraising for the spinal injuries unit at the hospital. He worked at Stoke Mandeville as a volunteer porter from 1969 and began his charity work there three years later.
David McCullough, the WRVS chief executive, said: "WRVS and Stoke Mandeville hospital have agreed that Jimmy's Cafe will be renamed [email protected], aligning it with other WRVS cafes across the country."
The decision was made after at least one allegation of abuse against Savile. Caroline Moore, now 53, has said he sexually assaulted her in a Stoke Mandeville corridor in 1971, when she was a 13-year-old patient. "He rammed his tongue down my throat … and walked off," said Moore.
She said she believed "without any doubt" other Stoke Mandeville patients must have been abused by Savile.
"I just wish he was alive to face it," she added. "I and lots of other people, I'm sure, feel cheated."