Jimmy Savile abuse allegations: Timeline


Police say the late Jimmy Savile abused hundreds of victims over five decades. This timeline charts the presenter's rise to fame, the allegations against him and the the subsequent action by police and broadcasters. Most recent events appear first.

  • 11 Jan 2013

    Report on victims published

    Jimmy Savile groomed a nation
    A report is published detailing abuse by Jimmy Savile spanning five decades. Police say they have recorded 214 offences, including 34 rapes, against victims as young as eight. The joint report by the Metropolitan Police and the NSPCC finds that offences took place at many locations including hospitals and a hospice. The Crown Prosecution Service apologises for missing the opportunity to prosecute Savile in 2009, while he was still alive.
  • 19 Dec 2012

    Pollard report criticises BBC

    Pollard report criticises BBC
    An inquiry led by Nick Pollard finds that there was "chaos and confusion" at the BBC over its "wrong" decision to shelve a Newsnight investigation into sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile. However, the former head of Sky News finds no evidence of a cover-up or suppression of the story to protect tribute programmes.
    The same day, former BBC radio producer Ted Beston is arrested under Operation Yewtree. He denies any allegations of abuse.
  • 12 Dec 2012

    Alleged victims reach 450

    Alleged victims reach 450
    Police say that the number of alleged sex abuse victims of the late Jimmy Savile has reached 450. Officers from Operation Yewtree say they have recorded 199 crimes allegedly committed by Savile in 17 police force areas. The investigation is also looking into sexual offences allegedly committed by others and Commander Peter Spindler says that a total 589 alleged victims have come forward.
  • 10 Nov 2012

    Director general resigns

    George Entwistle
    BBC director general George Entwistle resigns over a Newsnight report which wrongly alleged that an unnamed leading Conservative politician had abused a child from a Welsh care home in the 1980s. Although not directly linked to Savile, it comes in the wake of the scandal. Further changes are made to BBC management in the following days.
  • 1 Nov 2012

    Freddie Starr arrested

    Entertainer Freddie Starr is arrested in the police inquiry into sex abuse claims against Jimmy Savile. He has denied claims he groped a girl of 14 while in a room with Savile. Meanwhile, it is announced that the review into Newsnight's dropping of an investigation into Savile will report later in November.
  • 28 Oct 2012

    Gary Glitter arrested

    Paul Gadd
    Former pop star Gary Glitter is the first person to be arrested in connection with the police investigation into the Jimmy Savile abuse claims. Glitter, whose real name is Paul Gadd, is released on bail until mid-December, after being questioned at a London police station. It also emerges that Savile's former house in the Scottish Highlands has been vandalised and painted with abusive slogans.
  • 25 Oct 2012

    Police prepare for arrests

    Scotland Yard
    Police investigating Jimmy Savile say they are now following 400 lines of inquiry and have found 300 potential victims. Officers have spoken to 130 of them and recorded 114 reports of sexual assault, mostly against Savile. Some have accused other figures of taking part in the alleged abuse and an arrest strategy is being drawn up. Commander Peter Spindler says it is a "watershed in child abuse investigations".
  • 24 Oct 2012

    DPP to review 2009 inquiry

    Keir Starmer
    The Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer is to review decisions by the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute Jimmy Savile in 2009. The CPS had looked at four sexual abuse claims all dating back to the 70s but decided a successful prosecution was unlikely as the alleged victims were unwilling to co-operate.
  • 23 Oct 2012

    Entwistle appears before MPs

    George Entwistle and Lord Patten.
    BBC director general George Entwistle faces questions from MPs at the Culture Select Committee. He tells MPs the Newsnight investigation should not have been dropped. Earlier the BBC issues a press release saying it "accepts" that the investigation did not start out as an investigation into the Surrey police's handling of the Savile case. Culture secretary Maria Miller writes to Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, saying "very real concerns are being raised about public trust and confidence in the BBC".
  • 22 Oct 2012

    Newsnight editor steps aside

    Peter Rippon
    Peter Rippon, the Newsnight editor responsible for dropping a report into Jimmy Savile abuse claims, steps aside. The move is for the duration of an inquiry into Newsnight's handling of the investigation last year. Mr Rippon had earlier explained the editorial reasons behind his decision to axe the report in an editor's blog. But on 22 October the BBC issues a correction, calling the blog "inaccurate or incomplete in some respects". Panorama broadcasts its investigation into what happened.
  • 19 Oct 2012

    Criminal inquiry launched

    Jimmy Savile in 1978
    The Metropolitan Police launches a formal criminal investigation into alleged sexual abuse by the late Sir Jimmy Savile and others. In a statement, the force says there are "living people that require formal investigation". More than 400 leads have been followed up and over 200 potential victims identified, figures which Commander Peter Spindler calls "staggering".
  • 15 Oct 2012

    Labour calls for independent inquiry

    Maria Miller
    Labour leader Ed Miliband calls for a single independent inquiry into the claims against Savile, to span all institutions. But earlier in the House of Commons Culture Secretary Maria Miller warns against hampering the police investigation. She also says she is confident BBC chiefs are taking the claims "very seriously". BBC director general George Entwistle has offered to appear in front of MPs next week.
  • 14 Oct 2012

    Savile 'was asked about rumours'

    Derek Chinnery
    One of Sir Jimmy Savile's former bosses at Radio 1 says he questioned the DJ about rumours over his private life more than 20 years ago. Derek Chinnery, Radio 1 controller from 1976-85, said he asked the entertainer about "these rumours we hear". Savile responded "That's all nonsense," Mr Chinnery told BBC Radio 4's Broadcasting House, adding "there was no reason to disbelieve" the late DJ.
  • 13 Oct 2012

    Broadmoor inquiry

    The Department of Health says it will investigate the appointment of Savile in 1988 as chairman of a task force to advise on governing Broadmoor. Meanwhile, police say allegations are likely to span six decades from 1959-2006. Commander Peter Spindler says he estimates the number of likely victims to be about 60. Twelve complaints of sexual offences have been made to the police and 14 forces are involved.
  • 12 Oct 2012

    BBC orders inquiries

    George Entwistle
    BBC director general George Entwistle announces two inquiries regarding the sex abuse claims. The first will look at why a Newsnight investigation was shelved and will be led by former Head of Sky News, Nick Pollard. The second will begin when police give the go-ahead, and will be led by former High Court judge Dame Janet Smith. It will examine the culture of the BBC during the years that Jimmy Savile worked there. A third review will examine wider allegations of sexual harassment at the corporation.
  • 12 Oct 2012

    340 lines of inquiry

    June Thornton
    The Sun reports that David Nicolson, who worked as a director on Jim'll Fix It, claimed to have caught Savile having sex with a girl in his dressing room, but was laughed away when he voiced his concerns. And a woman tells BBC Radio Leeds that Savile abused a 12-year-old girl during a visit to a children's home in the 1970s where she was also resident. Police say they have now received 340 potential lines of inquiry.
  • 11 Oct 2012

    More allegations emerge

    Stoke Mandeville
    Further reports of abuse emerge, relating to Stoke Mandeville hospital, Leeds General Infirmary, Broadmoor secure hospital and Haut de la Garenne children's home in Jersey. In addition, Tayside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and N Yorkshire police are among the forces who say they have received allegations of abuse dating back to the 1960s, '70s and '80s. BBC director general George Entwistle asks a senior colleague to answer journalists' questions on the dropping of a Newsnight investigation into Savile.
  • 09 Oct 2012

    Savile 'a predatory sex offender'

    Scotland Yard
    More allegations emerge in the days following the ITV broadcast and by 9 October, the Metropolitan Police says it is pursuing 120 leads. Commander Peter Spindler, head of specialist crime investigations tells the BBC: "It is quite clear from what women are telling us that Savile was a predatory sex offender."
  • 3 Oct 2012

    ITV Exposure programme broadcast

    Jimmy Savile,  Top of the Pops
    ITV airs its investigation: Exposure, the Other Side of Jimmy Savile in which several women allege he sexually abused them when they were teenagers. One, Karin Ward, says that Savile abused her and fellow pupils at Duncroft Approved School for emotionally disturbed girls in Surrey. She says he had a caravan on school grounds.
  • 2 Oct 2012

    Rippon blogs on Newsnight investigation

    Peter Rippon
    Ahead of an ITV programme to be broadcast the following day, Newsnight editor Peter Rippon writes in a blog that his programme's investigation of Savile was dropped for editorial reasons after the CPS said that a case was not pursued due to lack of evidence. He writes: "we had not established any institutional failure and I judged it weakened the story from a Newsnight perspective. I took the decision not to publish", adding it is "totally untrue" to suggest that it was part of a BBC cover-up.
  • December 2011

    Newsnight investigation dropped

    Newsnight logo
    A six-week BBC Newsnight investigation into claims that Jimmy Savile abused youngsters, and whether there were institutional failings by police or the Crown Prosecution Service, is dropped. Tribute programmes are aired including Sir Jimmy Savile at the BBC: How's about that then?
  • 29 Oct 2011

    Savile dies

    Jimmy Savile
    Jimmy Savile is found dead at his home in the Roundhay district of Leeds. He is buried the following month in the seaside town of Scarborough.
  • 2000s


    Haut de la Garenne
    In 2007, Surrey police question Savile over allegations of child sex abuse in the 1970s. The matter is referred to the CPS, which advises there is insufficient evidence to take further action. In 2008, Sussex police receive an allegation of sexual assault against Savile which allegedly took place in Worthing in 1970 but it is dropped as the complainant is "unwilling to co-operate". Savile is also named during a 2008 police investigation into abuse at Haut de Garenne children's home in Jersey.
  • 1990s


    Jimmy Savile
    Presents Jim'll Fix It until 1994 and continues with his charity fundraising work. He is knighted in 1990, having already received the OBE in 1971.
  • 1980s

    Charity work

    Career: Continues as a presenter of Top of the Pops and Jim'll Fix It, which is broadcast until 1994. In 1988, Savile is appointed chairman of a task force set up to advise on governing Broadmoor.
    Allegations include: At least two complaints to police by women who were teenagers at the time.
  • 1970s

    Jim'll Fix It

    Jimmy Savile, 1970s
    Career Hosts own BBC shows, Clunk Click in 1973, followed by the long-running Jim'll Fix It, in which Savile grants young viewers' wishes. Begins charitable work at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) and Broadmoor secure hospital, in addition to his work at Stoke Mandeville.
    Allegations include: Abusing young patients at Stoke Mandeville hospital, molesting a brain-damaged girl at LGI and assaulting a 12-year-old at a Leeds children's home.
  • 1960s

    Top of the Pops

    Jimmy Savile, Top of the Pops
    Career: After fronting Tyne Tees' "Young at Heart", Savile becomes first host of BBC's Top of the Pops in 1964, and helps present the programme for more than 20 years. Joins fledgling BBC Radio 1 in 1968. Starts volunteering as a porter at Stoke Mandeville specialist spinal injuries hospital in 1969 and will in later years be given a room there.
    Allegations include: Two women who have come forward to police, with separate allegations of sexual offences by Savile when they were teenagers.
  • Early life

    Bevin boy to DJ

    Jimmy Savile
    Jimmy Savile is born 1926 in Leeds, the youngest of seven children. During World War II he is conscripted as a Bevin Boy, working in the coal mines, reportedly suffering spinal injuries in a mining accident aged 14. In an era dominated by live music, he starts playing records in local dance halls and later claims to have been the first disc jockey to use twin turntables and a microphone. He is later taken on by Radio Luxembourg.