Shane Richie’s Jim’ll fix it Boxing Day special 2011.
It is simply shameful that the BBC broadcast it, knowing, within their organisation, what they knew, based on Newsnight’s investigation.
As mentioned by Kevin Marsh, former BBC editor, in Panorama last night, George Entwhistle was “damned if he did and damned if he didn’t” over the Newsnight programme. He kept at arms length from it as Head of Vision. He was told about it in a 10 second conversation by Helen Boaden, Head of News. In one sense that was a highly proper move. He was keeping out of it. (Mind you apparently an email trail amongst senior bosses was left out of the Panorama special).
But the monumental failure, after the decision not to broadcast the Newsnight Savile piece, was not, apparently, to share it amongst BBC executives so they could take the necessary decision to cancel the sickening, quite disgusting Jimmy Savile tribute on Boxing Day.
Stove pipes. Organisational stove pipes. That is what characterised the abysmal BBC response to Savile’s crimes. Radio didn’t tell TV of their suspicions. Nationwide didn’t tell Top of the Pops. Tops of the Pops didn’t tell Clunk Click. Clunk Click didn’t tell Jim’ll Fix it. Somehow, Vision didn’t find out the full seriousness of the Newsnight allegations.
And what I find breathtaking is that Peter Rippon took the decision to pull the Savile Newsnight piece before actually watching the interview with Karin Ward, which, for my money, was a staggeringly convincing series of allegations against Savile.
I don’t think George Entwhistle should resign over this. I think the whole bloody BBC should resign!