20 Jan 2013

BBC apologises for Savile character on Tweenies show

The BBC apologises for airing a children’s programme on Sunday in which a character dresses up as disgraced DJ Jimmy Savile.

The Jimmy Savile character was featured in a repeat of the Tweenies programme

A repeat of The Tweenies saw the popular puppet “Max” in a Jimmy Savile fancy dress outfit pretending to be DJing on Top of the Pops.

It comes a week after a report into Savile claimed he sexually abused and raped children as young as eight over a 54-year period – including an assault at the last filming of Top of the Pops in 2006.

It comes after the BBC launched a search for a new editor of Newsnight after the programme dropped a report into Savile’s decades-long campaign of abuse.

A BBC spokeswoman said she would not confirm whether viewers had complained directly to the BBC about the programme.

She added it was “highly likely” the programme, clips of which viewers have posted on YouTube, has been repeated before Sunday’s showing.

‘A total disgrace’

Dad Mark Roberts, 42, was watching the show with his six-year-old daughter.

He said: “I think it’s completely out of order. It’s not right for anyone to be dressed as that evil man, let alone a children’s TV character.

“Max was my daughter’s favourite character – I can’t believe they dressed him up as Jimmy Savile. It was obvious who he was meant to be – he had the blonde hair, gold and even the dodgy laugh.

“It’s a total disgrace.”

Complaint to OFCOM

Service engineer Mark, from North Wales, made a complaint to OFCOM, but he thinks the BBC should never have let the episode air.

Twitter users also vented their anger at the programme.

One user, @MrDavidEBrown, tweeted: “#Tweenies is on #CBeebies. Max is doing a Jimmy Savile impression complete with wig. Maybe this episode shouldn’t have been reshown.”

Another,@SeanMurricane, wrote: “Um, anyone else concerned about one of the Tweenies on #cbeebies doing a #savile impression?!”

A BBC spokesman said: “This morning CBeebies broadcast a repeat of an episode of the Tweenies, originally made in 2001, featuring a character dressed as a DJ impersonating Jimmy Savile.

“This programme will not be repeated and we are very sorry for any offence caused.”


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