Probe into BBC's 'culture' to start

Ealing Times: Jimmy Savile died a year ago at his home in Leeds Jimmy Savile died a year ago at his home in Leeds

An inquiry into the BBC's "culture and practices" during the era of star presenter Jimmy Savile's campaign of sexual abuse is to begin.

Led by former Court of Appeal judge Dame Janet Smith, the probe will also determine whether the broadcaster's child protection and whistle-blowing policies are up to scratch.

The announcement comes a year to the day since Savile died aged 84 at his home in Leeds and a day after former pop star Gary Glitter was arrested and bailed by police investigating the Savile scandal.

Scotland Yard detectives are currently dealing with about 300 alleged victims and are following more than 400 lines of inquiry as part of their Operation Yewtree investigation into "Savile and others".

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Savile was barred from any involvement with the BBC's Children In Need charity. Former BBC governor Sir Roger Jones said that despite the late presenter's fundraising efforts, which resulted in millions going to good causes, he had been uncomfortable about allowing Savile to have any association with the charity.

Although he had "no evidence" that Savile was up to anything, Sir Roger - a former chairman of Children In Need - said he found the Jim'll Fix It star's behaviour to be strange. In an interview with the BBC, he said: "I think we all recognised he was a pretty creepy sort of character."

Glitter's arrest came as the chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, said he was dedicated to finding out the truth about the scandal that has engulfed the corporation, vowing there would be "no covering our backs". He apologised "unreservedly" to abused women who spoke to the BBC's Newsnight into the abuse which was axed last year.

Gary Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, has been bailed to reappear at a police station in mid-December this year, pending further inquiries.

An inquiry into possible BBC management failures over the canning of the Newsnight programme has already began under former head of Sky News Nick Pollard.

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman has called for an over-arching independent inquiry into the Savile case, but Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said he was not he was not in favour of an immediate judge-led investigation. Mr Grayling said: "There is always a danger if you set up a very substantial inquiry process of that kind that it takes much longer to get to the truth."

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