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LONDON: British police investigating alleged sexual abuse by one of the BBC’s most celebrated TV stars said yesterday some 300 victims had come forward and they were preparing to make arrests in a scandal that has thrown the broadcaster into disarray.
Detectives said they had been staggered by the number of people who had come forward since the late Jimmy Savile’s crimes were first revealed just over three weeks ago.
The head of the BBC’s governing body called the allegations a “tsunami of filth”, and police said Savile was “undoubtedly” one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders ever.
“It’s quite staggering,” said the police inquiry leader, Commander Peter Spindler.
Having interviewed 130 of the alleged victims, officers had recorded 114 reports of sexual assault or serious sexual assault, mostly against Savile - the outlandish, cigar-chomping DJ turned TV host who was one of the BBC’s top presenters of the 1970s and 1980s.
The allegations, which first emerged in an expose on the rival British TV channel ITV, have rocked the BBC, with its chief George Entwistle admitting the broadcaster has been damaged by the scandal.
The revelations have generated huge attention, not least in the United States where Entwistle’s predecessor at the BBC, Mark Thompson, is poised to take over as chief executive of the New York Times.
On Wednesday, lawyers representing some 30 alleged victims of abuse said their clients said other celebrities were involved, while some of those abused by Savile have told the media they were targeted on BBC premises.
Prime Minister David Cameron has said the BBC, paid for by an annual tax on all households with a colour TV, had serious questions to answer. Reuters