The BBC’s reputation has been badly damaged by the shocking revelations surrounding the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal, according to a new poll.
Carried out on behalf of BBC Radio 5 Live, the poll suggests that trust in the corporation has nosedived and that nearly two thirds of adults in the UK believe that the BBC had suffered lasting damage.
The telephone survey by Comres, on behalf of BBC Radio 5 Live, found that only 45% of respondents now thought the BBC was “trustworthy”. This is in contrast to a poll in 2009 in which 62% of people felt the BBC was a trusted source.
The poll follows fresh revelations that Savile’s reputation caused him to be dropped by the Children in Need Charity.
Reports on SKY news, have revealed that suspicions over the conduct of the former BBC presenter led to him being barred from playing any role in the charity.
Former BBC governor Sir Roger Jones said he found the Jim’ll Fix It star’s behaviour to be strange, describing him as a “pretty creepy sort of character”.
He told Sky News: “There were certain rumours about his behaviour, nothing proven, just allegations. All that we could do was to make sure that our child protection policies were strong enough to withstand any kind of attack.”
He added: “I had no evidence. I’m not someone that would make unwarranted allegations. I’m sure my fellow governors would not have been too pleased to have uncorroborated accusations made.
“As long as my patch was absolutely clear, the charity was clear, that was all I could really do.”
The new poll follows shocking allegations that child abuse was carried out on BBC premises under the noses of BBC Chiefs. Claims of rape and sexual assault followed a controversial decision by the BBC to drop an investigation by a Newsnight team into Savile’s behaviour.
Current BBC Director General George Entwistle has come under fire after it emerged the reasons given by the BBC for the shelving of the Newsnight programme were false. The BBC is facing claims that it helped cover up allegations that Savile preyed on women and children.
His predecessor, Mark Thompson is also under pressure to address claims that he was indeed aware of the suspicions relating to Savile’s past behaviour at the corporation. Thompson has insisted he knew nothing of the allegations against Savile.
However, it has emerged that Freedom of Information requests have established that the former BBC head was sent emails alerting him to allegations that Savile had molested minors on BBC premises.