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A new report due out in February is set to reveal that disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile sexually abused as many as 1,000 people on BBC premises – and that staff turned a blind eye.

According to the Observer the inquiry, led by former High court judge Dame Janet Smith, will also confirm that the true number of Savile’s victims may never be known.

However a source told the newspaper that the figures were “shocking”.

And the report goes on to claim that BBC executives knew exactly what was going on, but did nothing to stop it.

“Many hundreds and potentially up to 1,000 people were victims of Savile when he was representing the corporation,” the insider told the paper.

“The report will go right to the heart of how Savile was able to get away with the most heinous of crimes under the very noses of BBC staff for more than 40 years.”

Peter Saunders, chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, added he “wouldn’t doubt” the numbers quoted in the report are accurate.

He added: “The other thing I have found extraordinary, and very sad, is the number of people I have spoken to connected to the BBC, and that is a lot of people, who said: ‘Oh yes, we all knew about him.”

Savile, who hosted a string of shows included Jim’ll Fix It and Top Of The Pops, as well as programmes on Radio 1, died in October 2011, although the extent of his activities was not made public until a year after his death.