We need a ‘report a celebrity’ line, says ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen after leaked memo reveals Jimmy Savile abused children on BBC property for decades
- Dame Esther has demanded broadcasters create dedicated phone lines
- The former That’s Life star said abuse was still a problem in the industry
- Wants phone lines so staff can report celebrities they suspect of abuse
- Report into Savile scandal revealed a culture of ‘deference’ to celebrities
Dame Esther Rantzen has demanded the BBC and other broadcasters create dedicated phone lines so that staff can report celebrities they suspect of sexual abuse.
The ChildLine founder spoke out after a leaked report into the Jimmy Savile scandal revealed he abused children on BBC property for decades because of a culture of ‘deference’ to celebrities.
The former That’s Life star said abuse was still a problem in the industry and added:
‘It is blindingly obvious you need to create and publicise a helpline which junior employees feel they can trust when reporting bullying and sexual misconduct anonymously. Staff have to be given explicit permission to whistleblow and the criticism is that the BBC is still an organisation where it is difficult to tell the boss something that might cost them their job. I’m sure it will happen because Tony Hall is a director-general who deeply cares about the welfare of his staff, but the BBC is not alone in having to deal with this.’
Dame Esther revealed that a friend at another TV company had been abused by a celebrity but did not speak out.
‘She was being sexually harassed by one of the stars but didn’t feel she could ask for help or complain,’ she said.
A BBC spokesman said it had a comprehensive whistleblowing policy, including an independent hotline.
‘The policy was subject to an independent review last year and found to be highly ranked when compared to other public-sector organisations,’ he said.
The ChildLine founder spoke out after a leaked report into the Jimmy Savile scandal revealed he abused children on BBC property for decades because of a culture of ‘deference’ to celebrities
APOLOGIES IN ADVANCE, Please excuse my language…