Jimmy Savile sex abuse 'a dark chapter in the history of the BBC'

Tony Hall: Savile Abuse Was a 'Dark Chapter for the BBC'

BBC director-general Tony Hall has described the sexual abuse by broadcaster Jimmy Savile as a "dark chapter" in the corporation's history.

And he vowed that the review into its culture would be "invaluable" in helping to ensure such incidents never happen again.

A leaked draft report of the review by Dame Janet Smith condemns the BBC over its "deferential culture" and "untouchable stars", and criticises it for having managers who were "above the law".

It also warns that it was possible another "predatory child abuser could be lurking undiscovered in the BBC even today".

Rapes, indecent assaults on both boys and girls, and incidents of "inappropriate sexual conduct" with teenagers over the age of 16 were all "in some way associated with the BBC", the draft report states, adding that three of Savile's victims were only nine.

Incidents occurred at "virtually every one of the BBC premises" in which Savile worked, the report said, and more than 100 employees at the corporation told the review they had heard about Savile's sexual conduct.

Commenting after the leaked report, Lord Hall said: "Firstly, my thoughts and all our thoughts are with the victims of Jimmy Savile and their families. What happened was a dark chapter in the history of the BBC.

"Dame Janet Smith's report will be invaluable in helping us understand what happened and to help ensure that we do everything possible to avoid it happening again.

"The review has said that the copy leaked to the media is an early draft which has changed considerably, so, while I am impatient to learn those lessons, the responsible thing must be to act on the final report, which we have not received."