22/10/2012 10:18 BST | Updated 22/10/2012 10:23 BST

Jimmy Savile's Niece Caroline Robinson Says She Wanted To Go To His Funeral To Make Sure He Was Dead

Jimmy Savile's great-niece has told how she wanted to go to his funeral to "make sure that he was dead."

Caroline Robinson, who claims her great-uncle sexually abused her when she was just 12 years old, told ITV's This Morning how she thought her family deliberately protected Savile, and her grandmother's silence was bought.

"If we blabbed on Jimmy or told tales, the fame that surrounded him would've gone. And I loved to say that Jimmy Savile is my Uncle - I loved to say it, it made me proud.

"But for him to suddenly be destroyed over something like this, the family would have had nothing," she said.

Caroline Robinson says she was sexually abused by Savile

The 49-year-old said she believed Savile bought her grandmother's silence after she complained of the abuse but was told "it's only Jimmy."

"Anything she wanted, she got. From holidays that she wanted to do, she got a cottage, she stayed in a Bupa sheltered home, so everything my Grandmama wanted, she got," Caroline said.

She said when she was just 12 years old her great-uncle put his hand in her knickers when she was sat on his knee.

The Panorama investigation also hears new evidence of suspicions within the BBC about Savile's activities as far back as the early 1970s

"I thought there's something wrong here... he was stroking my back, caressing up and down my spine, and it didn't feel right. It felt weird. But he decided to carry on.

"Because I had a short skirt on and because I didn't want to spoil my best dress I lifted my skirt up so I was just sat with him on with just my knickers and the more he rubbed he hand up and down my back and went closer towards my pants, I thought something's hard here... something's uncomfortable, what am I sat on? Car keys?...

"So the more I wiggled, the more excited Jimmy got. And the next minute I know, he hand is on my bum, he'd gone into my knickers an his hand was on my bum."

Caroline's claims come as Newsnight editor Peter Rippon is to stand aside while the BBC reviews its response to the Savile sex scandal.

Rippon has become the first casualty of what John Simpson called "the worst crisis that I can remember in my nearly 50 years at the BBC."

A Panorama documentary to be aired tonight will claim a Newsnight investigation into the Savile sex abuse scandal was pulled after pressure from senior managers.