By a Newsnet reporter
Flamboyant TV presenter Jimmy Savile was accused of being a paedophile 25 years ago by outrageous Scottish comedian Jerry Sadowitz.
Known for his no-holds barred brand of radical comedy, Sadowitz labelled the late BBC presenter an “expert” on child abuse in a routine recorded in Edinburgh in 1987.
The recording became an album which was hastily withdrawn amid fears of litigation from Savile’s lawyers.
Following the death of the DJ in 2011, Sadowitz made another recording in which he repeated his claims and included more sensational allegations relating to Savile’s volunteer role as a hospital porter.
The revelations will pile pressure on BBC bosses who have been accused of protecting the presenter who fronted children’s TV shows throughout the 70s and 80s which gave him regular contact with teenage girls.
The BBC is also coming under pressure for broadcasting tributes to Savile after his death in October 2011, despite widespread rumours of child abuse. A former editor has claimed it is implausible that the BBC Director General did not know of allegations against Savile when the tribute programme was broadcast.
The BBC is also coming under increasing pressure to explain a decision to shelve a Newsnight programme which investigated claims of sexual abuse against Savile. More allegations have now emerged against Savile and include claims by actress Julie Fernandez that the BBC star groped her when she was just 14 and appearing on Jim’ll Fix It, sitting next to him in her wheelchair.
It has also emerged that the BBC is facing possible legal claims as a result of the emerging scandal. Lawyers acting on behalf of victims are believed to be preparing challenges against the corporation, claiming the official clearance granted the TV presenter allowed the abuse to take place.
Also facing claims for redress is the UK’s Department of Health after Savile was granted special access to several hospitals and was given a high profile role in the running of Broadmore hospital which included his own living quarters and keys to all of the hospital’s wards.
It has been alleged that Savile used his special access and status to abuse inmates at the psychiatric facility. One former patient claims she was repeatedly raped by Savile who has also been accused of assaulting several other patients, including an alleged serious assault on a brain damaged patient.
The UK Government is to hold an inquiry into how the DJ was appointed as head of a special task force overseeing the management of Broadmoor in the 1980s. Health Minister at the time, Kenneth Clarke said: “I have no recollection of ever having met Jimmy Savile and no recollection of these events. The Department of Health are now investigating to establish the facts.”
Claims against the former BBC presenter and charity worker now span six decades with over 300 lines of inquiry being pursued by police. A dozen forces across the UK have reported allegations against Savile.