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Jimmy Savile Sex Abuse: Review Into BBC Decision To Shelve Newsnight Programme

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The report will examine why the Jimmy Savile programme was not broadcast | Getty Images

A review into why Newsnight shelved a report into sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile will be released on Wednesday.

Top BBC executives and journalists on the flagship current affairs show have given evidence into why a planned programme on the DJ did not go ahead.

The BBC has repeatedly denied claims it axed the show because it clashed with planned tributes to Savile, after his death in 2011.

Figures including director of news Helen Boaden, Newsnight editor Peter Rippon and former director-general Mark Thompson are reported to have been questioned as part of the review which is carried out by ex-Sky News executive Nick Pollard.

Mr Rippon stepped aside from his role after the BBC said his explanation as to why the show dropped its investigation into the late DJ and TV presenter was "inaccurate or incomplete in some respects" and corrected his statement.

The publication of the review - accompanied by a separate report by Ken MacQuarrie into how Newsnight reported an incorrect story implicating Lord McAlpine in child abuse allegations - caps a bad end to a year that started so well for the BBC.

The corporation managed to shake off criticism for how it covered the Diamond Jubilee and was widely praised for its coverage of the Olympics and Paralympics, but has ended the year paying out £185,000 in damages to Lord McAlpine and losing not one, but two Director Generals.

George Entwistle, who was head of BBC television at the time the investigation was dropped, took the top job in September only to resign after just over 50 days in charge as the Savile scandal washed over the corporation.

Another review led by Dame Janet Smith, looking at the culture and practices of the BBC during the years in which Savile worked there, is expected next year.

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