The Straits Times
Published on Oct 23, 2012

BBC chief denies sex scandal cover-up


LONDON (REUTERS) - The head of the BBC denied on Tuesday helping to cover up a sex scandal involving one of its former stars but accepted the British broadcaster had been damaged by a crisis that has shaken public trust in a national institution.

Mr George Entwistle, who only took charge at the 90-year-old media organisation in August, told hostile lawmakers that failures at the BBC had allowed Mr Jimmy Savile, once one of Britain's top TV presenters, to prey on young girls for years.

He added he could not rule out suggestions that a paedophile ring might have existed at the state-funded BBC during the height of Mr Savile's fame in the 1970s and 80s.

But Mr Entwistle rejected claims that BBC bosses had tried to hide allegations against Savile, who died last year, or suppressed an inquiry by one of their own news programmes.