Jimmy Savile was barred from any involvement with the BBC’s Children In Need charity, a former BBC governor has revealed.
Despite the late presenter’s fundraising efforts, which resulted in millions going to good causes, Sir Roger Jones – a former chairman of Children In Need – said he had been uncomfortable about allowing Savile to have any association with the charity.
Although he had ‘no evidence’ that Savile was up to anything, he said he found the Jim’ll Fix It star’s behaviour to be strange.
In an interview with the BBC, he said: “I think we all recognised he was a pretty creepy sort of character.
“When I was with Children In Need, we took the decision that we didn’t want him anywhere near to the charity and we just stepped up our child protection policies, which again would have put him at great risk if he tried anything. So the way that we dealt with it was by beefing up child protection policies.”
He said it would have been impossible to make any claims about Savile without hard evidence, but as the charity was trying to protect itself, it did not need evidence.
He went on: “I found his behaviour very strange. I couldn’t tell if he was a paedophile. But I didn’t have to.”
Sir Roger said he did not remember suspicions about Savile being discussed at any meeting of the BBC governors.
He pointed out that Children In Need bosses were very conscious of protecting the charity from paedophiles.
“They were just like flies around the honeypot. Not just in the fundraising but also in the distribution of funds. I mean, if we had given money to a paedophile group, the sky would have fallen on the BBC. So we were very very careful, we were on red alert.”