Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage
In the past few months, the crisis-plagued BBC has repeatedly apologized for its mishandling of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal and this weekend was forced to offer up yet another mea culpa. In a programming gaffe, children’s channel CBeebies re-ran a 2001 episode of kids’ show The Tweenies that included a puppet parody of the pre-scandal Savile. The episode featured the character Max dressed in a tracksuit, a white wig and gold chains while presenting a music show in the style of Top Of The Pops — the iconic BBC show Savile hosted for much of his career — and using Savile’s catchphrases. Savile’s sordid past came to light in October, a year after his death in 2011, and earlier this month a Metropolitan Police report found he had abused children as young as 8, with some indecent activity occurring on BBC premises. The Tweenies ran from 1999 to 2003 but is frequently repeated on the dedicated channel. A BBC spokesman apologized for causing offense over the airing and insisted the program would not be repeated.