BBC’s George Entwistle Grilled By Parliament Over Jimmy Savile Sex Scandal

Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage

BBC director general George Entwistle was accused of a “lamentable lack of editorial curiosity” as he appeared before a Parliamentary select committee this morning. The two-hour session focused on the scandal engulfing the broadcaster amid rampant sexual abuse allegations against late Top Of The Pops host Jimmy Savile, as well as suggestions of an editorial cover-up by the BBC’s leading investigative journalism program, Newsnight. Entwistle was faced with new pressure to explain why Newsnight‘s report on Savile was dropped last year, even though it delivered serious revelations about the allegations that had not previously been published. “There was clearly some good journalistic material,” he conceded today, adding, “Further investigation would have been appropriate.”

Entwistle left Newsnight editor Peter Rippon to shoulder much of the blame for dropping the December 2011 investigation into Savile. The BBC yesterday corrected Rippon’s version of events surrounding the story’s spiking, and Rippon was suspended pending the results of the BBC’s inquiry into the scandal. (Meanwhile, attorney Dinah Rose, who has acted on behalf of News International in civil phone-hacking claims, will be hired by the BBC to help on the Savile investigation, The Guardian reported.)

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