Nightly News   |  October 25, 2012

Savile BBC scandal shocks UK

Police believe former TV star Jimmy Savile, a national icon, may have been one of Britain's worst pedophile offenders. Some of Savile's alleged 300 victims had appeared on his TV shows. NBC's Keir Simmons reports.

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>>> overseas tonight, great britain , a growing scandal involving a household name shocking the public. turns out a trusted television star may have been one of britain 's worst pedophiles with a secret life that apparently lasted for years. the story tonight from nbc's kier simmons in london.

>> reporter: for years, he was at the heart of the british institution , the bbc . he was a national icon, the dick clark of britain . he hosted some of the country's most popular shows, including for children. he ran charities and was even knighted by the queen. but today it was announced that 300 victims say when they were children, sattle abused them, many appearing on his tv show . she was 14.

>> we were taken by him on a couple of occasions, and made to do sexual acts.

>> reporter: he died last year, and as the bbc prepared a tribute program, the journalists quickly dropped an investigation, it took a rival network to uncover it, to determine that a pedophile may have been involved.

>> the allegations and what seems to have happened were completely appalling.

>> reporter: now some of the bbc 's best known journalists are questioning the very institution they work for.

>> normally we report the news rather than being the news.

>> reporter: the former boss of the bbc , mark thompson , was hired by the new york times to become its chief executive. there is no evidence he knew about saddle, but he may have to head back to new york to defend the suggestion of a cover-up.

>> if i can help with the questions i will do so.

>> reporter: for the british, the bbc is a source of national pride , funded by taxes paid by every family. now it appears the trusted institution may have turned away while children were abused, kier simmons, nbc