03/11/2012 09:34 GMT

Jimmy Savile Sex Abuse: BBC 'Witchhunt' Criticised By Veteran Broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby

There has been a "disturbing relish" in the way critics have laid into the BBC over the Jimmy Savile sex scandal, according to veteran presenter Jonathan Dimbleby.

The broadcaster said there has been a "witchhunt" against the corporation since allegations that the late Jim'll Fix it star abused hundreds of young girls and women - some on BBC premises - emerged.

In an interview with The Times, the Radio 4 presenter, who first started working at the BBC in the late 1960s, said: "I think it's disgraceful and horribly out of proportion to hound everyone at the BBC in a way that is unwarranted and lacks perspective when the real focus should be on what Savile did wrong.

jimmy savile

Savile is accused of sexually abused hundreds of people and children in his life

"Paedophilia is a huge national problem that no one thought about 50 years ago and is now something that concerns everyone, but this has become a witchhunt against the BBC."

Blaming the media and politicians for getting their priorities wrong, Dimbleby added: "Organisations that have come under flack recently such as newspapers and MPs want to get their revenge. They think the BBC is too smug and holier-than-thou.

"But there is a disturbing relish in the way the critics have laid into the BBC, holding today's office-holders to account for what happened 30 years ago."

jonathan dimbleby

Dimbleby criticised the "disturbing relish" with which sections of the media have followed the scandal

Comedian Freddie Starr was released on bail for a second time last night after being questioned by police investigating the abuse scandal.

The 69-year-old, from Warwickshire, was held on suspicion of sexual offences before being re-bailed to a date in December.

He has consistently denied any involvement in the alleged abuse and last month branded Savile "despicable" and "disgusting", urging police to interview him so he could clear his name.

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