- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
BBC under fire over Savile sex abuse allegations
Question of the Day
LONDON (AP) - The BBC is struggling to contain a crisis sparked by allegations of serial sexual abuse against the late Jimmy Savile, a longtime children's television host.
Dozens of women have come forward to say that Savile, who died in October 2011 aged 84, sexually assaulted them when they were as young as 13. London's Metropolitan Police, which is leading a national investigation, says it has identified 40 potential victims.
The publicly funded national broadcaster is facing questions about its failure to stop Savile's predatory behavior, which was an open secret in showbiz circles during his heyday several decades ago.
BBC Director-General George Entwistle announced late Friday that the broadcaster would hold an inquiry into the "culture and practices of the BBC during the years Jimmy Savile worked here."
"It will examine whether that culture and those practices allowed him or others to carry out the sexual abuse of children," said Entwistle, promising a "forensic but also soul-searching examination."
Some assaults are alleged to have taken place on BBC premises, others at hospitals and schools Savile visited as part of his charity fundraising.
Entwistle said he offered a "profound and heartfelt apology on behalf of the BBC to every victim."
"As the director-general of the BBC I have made clear my revulsion at the thought that these criminal assaults were carried out by someone employed by the BBC and that some may have happened on BBC premises as well as, we now discover, in hospitals and other institutions across the U.K.," he told reporters.
Entwistle _ who has been in his job for less than a month _ said the BBC would also investigate why a report on Savile by its "Newsnight" program was dropped at the last minute in December for what the broadcaster called "editorial reasons."
The allegations against Savile were eventually aired in a documentary broadcast earlier this month on the rival ITV channel.
The British government said it would hold its own investigation into how Savile was appointed to lead a taskforce overseeing management restructuring at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital in the 1980s. Former patients at the hospital have claimed Savile abused them.
"In hindsight he should very obviously not have been appointed," the Department of Health said in a statement.
Savile, known for his platinum hair, garish tracksuits, chunky gold jewelry and ever-present cigars, was a fixture on British TV between the 1960s and the 1990s as host of music show "Top of the Pops" and children's program "Jim'll Fix It."
He was knighted by both Queen Elizabeth II and the Vatican for his charity work, but his reputation has been in free-fall since the abuse allegations were made public. Last week his family removed the headstone from his grave in Scarborough, northeastern England, and destroyed it, "out of respect for public opinion."
The granite tombstone bore the words "It was good while it lasted."
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia's gay marriage ban
- Federal judge rules D.C. ban on handguns in public is unconstitutional
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq