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From Savile to ‘Street’ – British celebrity child sex abuse scandal hits BBC and beyond

21st Century Wire says…

It’s hard to tell what history’s enduring caption will read when people look back at the BBC, Sir Jimmy Savile OBE and the rest…

One phrase which comes to mind is “institutional cover-up”. This of course raises the uncomfortable question: can state run institutions above the law and can they still be trusted to govern themselves? 

Are all these actors and DJ’s merely the establishment’s sacrificial lambs, nabbed in order to quell public unrest on this horrific issue? Does this epidemic stretch into the political realm, or further up the food chain? Revelations of the police covering for pedophile MP Sir Cyril Smith indicate that it does.

Perhaps the list below may just be the tip of an incredibly huge iceberg?

Many questions remain unanswered…

List of those caught up after Jimmy Savile’s death reveals seemingly seedy side to British pop culture.

David Trifunov and Corinne Purtill
Global Post

LONDON, UK — Two months ago, Stuart Hall – a silver-voiced fixture on UK radio and TV airwaves for more than 50 years – stood in court and called the 40-year-old allegations of sexual misconduct against him “pernicious, callous, cruel and above all spurious.”

On Thursday, Hall, who last year was decorated by the Queen for his contributions to British broadcasting, confessed to 14 sexual crimes against girls as young as 9. Said his lawyer, speaking in the same court where Hall had once defended his innocence: “He is not a man easily moved to self-pity, but he is only too aware that his disgrace is complete.”

Hall, 83, is the latest public figure to emerge from Operation Yewtree, a national police investigation into decades-old sexual crimes of the late TV presenter Jimmy Savile and others. Prompted by the revelation last year that Savile, who died in 2011, allegedly sexually abused hundreds of young people, Metropolitan Police launched a two-month criminal investigation that concluded in December.

From Gary Glitter to Bill Roache, British police have revealed what alleged victims call a seemingly seedy underbelly of perversion where stars use their social position to prey upon young victims.

When he is sentenced next month for assaulting young girls decades ago while working as a British radio and TV personality, he’ll became one of the first caught in the widening scandal to face punishment.

While Hall is just the latest, there are many others still awaiting formal charges or trial.

From BBC and beyond, “Coronation Street” to Operation Yewtree and even (Gasp!) “Dr. Who,” here’s a list of some notable names from recent British celebrity sex scandals:

Jimmy Savile
When the white-haired, bug-eyed, cigar chomping DJ died in October 2011 at age 84, he was resoundingly lauded before quickly being demonized. After his death, as many as 450 victims came forward to claim Savile, host of the ubiquitous music program “Top of the Pops,” abused them.

It’s led to many of Savile’s contemporaries facing similar allegations in what Scotland Yard has dubbed “Operation Yewtree.” The biggest name, to North Americans at least, in the growing drama is probably …

Gary Glitter
Famous for his sports arena anthem, “Rock and Roll: Part 2,” Glitter was among the first stars named from this latest round of scandal to face accusations. British police jailed him in 1999 for possessing kiddie porn. Vietnamese authorities then arrested him for child abuse in 2006, deporting him to England.

He was re-arrested last October as part of the Jimmy Savile scandal, accused of having sex with an underage girl in Savile’s dressing room in the 1970s. Born Paul Gadd, he will turn 69 next week and is sadly not even close to being the oldest of this group. That distinction belongs to …

Stuart Hall
At 83 years old, Hall is proof that police aren’t afraid to dredge up past sins. The veteran TV and radio presenter admitted 14 charges of indecently assaulting girls as young as nine, prosecutors said on Thursday. As face of the TV show “It’s a Knockout” in the 1970s and 1980s, Hall was an “opportunistic predator” who befriended his victims before assaulting them, prosecutors told Agence France-Presse.

Yes, Hall is the oldest to face charges, but is merely months older than the next on the list.

Rolf Harris
Arrested in March on suspicion of sexual offenses and freed until this month, the 83-year-old Australian star’s full extent of trouble is unknown. British police often arrest suspects, but don’t charge them immediately. Harris is best known in America for his song “Tie me Kangaroo Down, Sport,” a hit in 1960.

He was also known for TV roles, much like our next man.

William (Bill) Roache
In the Guinness Book of Records for his 53-year run as Ken Barlow on TV soap “Coronation Street,” Roache is accused of having sex with an underage girl in 1967. Roache, 81, denied the claims after his arrest. He is just the latest “Coronation” star to face such charges.

Michael Le Vell, Andrew Lancel
In the interests of time, we’ll combine these two 40-something actors, although their cases are entirely separate.

Le Vell, charged with sexual abuse of minors, denies all charges and plans a vigorous defense. The 48-year-old actor, a “Street” veteran for 30 years, played mechanic Kevin Webster, but was suspended from the show pending the investigation.

Lancel appeared for two seasons of “Street” in 2011-12 before his character was murdered. The 42-year-old actor entered not guilty pleas last month and will face trial on six counts of indecent assault against a teen boy from the mid-1990s. His trial is to begin in June.

Operation Yewtree
The Savile scandal spawned Yewtree which arrested a dozen and charged two. David Smith (BBC driver, charged with raping teen boy in 1984) and Max Clifford (70-year-old PR guru, charged with 11 counts of indecent assault) will enter pleas before proceedings continue.

Others awaiting formal charges are: Jim Davidson (59, BBC host facing allegations from two women), Freddie Star (70, comedian and game show host accused of groping a woman) and Dave Lee Travis (67, disc jockey who chalks up his accusations to “giving them a cuddle”).

John Nathan-Turner, Gary Downie
The two men behind the scenes at the long-running “Doctor Who” sci-fi series preyed upon fans, a new book written by former BBC producer Richard Marson alleges.

Nathan-Turner served as a producer during the 1980s, while Downie worked as a production manager. The book, “JN-T: The Life and Scandalous Times of John Nathan-Turner,” accuses the men of promising fans access to the show in exchange for sex. Nathan-Turner died in 2002 and Downie four years later.



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