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BBC's George Entwistle apologises over Jimmy Savile abuse claims

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The BBC's George Entwistle has apologised to the women who have claimed to have been abused by Sir Jimmy Savile.

The corporation's director general spoke about the ongoing allegations brought against the late presenter on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Sir Jimmy Saville

© Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images

George Entwistle

© BBC / Sam Burnett



"The women involved here have gone through something awful, and something I deeply regret they should have had to go through," Entwistle said. "I would like to apologise on behalf of the organisation to each and every one of them for what they've had to endure here."

Entwistle also reiterated his stance that the BBC will only launch an internal investigation into the allegations once the police have complete their own work on the claims.

"When the police have finished everything they have to do, and when they give me the assurance there is no danger of us in any way compromising or contaminating an investigation, I will take it further and ensure that any outstanding questions are answered properly," he continued.

Entwistle promised that the BBC would give police officers "every support that [they] need" in any criminal investigation.

He also added that he would have preferred that the BBC had made their own programme about the claims instead of ITV, saying: "With the benefit of hindsight, I think we could all wish that Newsnight had been able to go as far as ITV went."

His comments come a day after prime minister David Cameron called for the sexual abuse allegations to be fully investigated.

Entwistle also said that "if people knew... then there was an enormous obligation on them to have done something about it".

Newsnight editor Peter Rippon recently denied claims that there had been a cover-up of information regarding Savile.

Ex-BBC Radio 1 DJ Liz Kershaw has also claimed that she was groped by an unnamed DJ whilst on air.

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