Entertainment & Arts

BBC commissions Savile documentary

Jimmy Savile
Image caption The NSPCC said Savile was one of most prolific sex offenders in its history

BBC One has commissioned a documentary investigating the impact of child sexual abuse on its victims, including those assaulted by Jimmy Savile.

Abused: The Untold Story will examine how the Savile scandal and subsequent Operation Yewtree arrests changed people's understanding of child abuse.

Olly Lambert, whose credits include the award-winning Syria: Across The Lines, will direct the 90-minute film.

Lambert called the Savile revelations a "watershed moment" for the UK.

"What is now being revealed is not just the shocking events themselves, but the extraordinary and complex ways in which they have shaped entire lives," he said.

Savile, a former BBC presenter and DJ, was revealed, after his death in 2011, to have been a prolific sexual predator who abused adults and children across the country.

The NSPCC said Savile was the one of most prolific sex offenders in its history.

The revelations prompted the Metropolitan Police to launch Operation Yewtree, set up to investigate historical sex offences.

Cases that emerged as a result of investigations into Savile, but were unconnected to him, included those against Max Clifford, Rolf Harris and Dave Lee Travis.

Separate investigations were launched into allegations of indecent assault by BBC presenter Stuart Hall and ITV weatherman Fred Talbot, both of which resulted in convictions.

The BBC documentary was commissioned by BBC One's controller, Charlotte Moore, who said it would "give a voice to those who have lived through sexual abuse and finally feel brave enough to speak out".

"This is a timely and meaningful subject that matters, a story of our time that has fundamentally changed the way we deal with abuse in modern society. We need to understand it to expose it," she said.

Executive producer Colin Barr said: "Hopefully the film will help remove some of the stigma around talking about abuse and might help give confidence to other victims who've remained silent until now."

It is due to be screened next year.

Meanwhile, a report into how Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall carried out abuse while at the BBC is due to be published in May.

Dame Janet Smith's investigation has interviewed 375 witnesses in connection with Savile and more than 100 about Hall.

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