8 Oct 2012

Savile, Freddie Starr and BBC inaction on child safety

Foreign Affairs Correspondent

As the BBC’s director-general apologises, Jimmy Savile’s former producer tells Channel 4 News nobody from the corporation has contacted him, despite the fact he worked for the star for 21 years.

On the day BBC Director-General George Entwistle said sorry to victims of alleged sex abuse at the hands of Sir Jimmy Savile, and promised to hold an internal inquiry at the end of police investigations, Channel 4 News has spoken to a former BBC producer who expressed concerns over the lack of child protection policies at the corporation in the 1970s.

When asked whether child protection was “on your radar back then”, Roger Ordish told us: “I have to say I don’t suppose it was, It’s an awful thing to say isn’t it?”

Mr Ordish also revealed that nobody from the BBC has yet contacted him despite the fact he was the star’s producer for 21 years.

He said: “I am a bit surprised, yes. I’m expecting if there is this inquiry then someone surely is going to speak to me.

“I’m expecting a call any time.”

Krishnan Guru-Murthy blogs: Jimmy Savile - Cold, aggressive, menacing
Freddie Starr appearing on Jimmy Savile's TV show.

Freddie Starr claim

Meanwhile, Channel 4 News has unearthed footage of the comedian Freddie Starr appearing alongside Savile on the BBC show Clunk Click, showing that Mr Starr met Savile on more than two occasions.

Last week Karin Ward, who waived her right to anonymity, alleged that Mr Starr molested her during the filming of this programme, when she was just 14.

Speaking last week Freddie Starr denied the claims and added: “I’ve only met Jimmy Savile maybe twice. He came to see me with his mother at one of my shows. I always thought he was a flash b******.”

This image (above) does not prove that Freddie Starr molested Karin Ward but it does call into question his memory of meetings with Savile.

Mr Starr’s lawyer Dean Dunham released a statement on behalf of Mr Starr on Monday.

This does not detract away from the fact that Freddie vigorously denies the awful allegation that has been made by Karin Ward. Dean Dunham, Freddie Starr’s lawyer

It said: “Freddie Starr has been in the entertainment business for over 50 years. During this time he has appeared on countless television shows each year as well as performing in literally thousands of live shows.

“Freddie is now 69 and cannot be expected to recollect every show that he has appeared on and to remember every person that he has met.”

The statement added: “When the allegation made by Karin Ward was put to him Freddie’s first reaction was that he would never grope a women and never has.

“He then considered whether he had even been on a Jimmy Savile show or if he had met a women called Karin Ward. His recollection was that he had not been on a Jimmy Savile show and when he contacted the person who was his manager in the 70s he also could not remember Freddie appearing on any of his shows.

“In respect of Karin Ward this was not a name that Freddie could remember and therefore had no recollection of meeting her. It would now appear from seeing footage of a Clunk Click show aired in 1974 that in fact Freddie was mistaken and therefore that he had in fact been on a Jimmy Savile show.

“However, this does not detract away from the fact that Freddie vigorously denies the awful allegation that has been made by Karin Ward, which despite this footage is still totally unsupported and uncorroborated by any other evidence.”