Plenty has been said about the late Jimmy Savile, the BBC and who knew what when. Much hypocrisy has been engaged in. But it's really quite simple. Savile liked young flesh, when he could get it. Anyone who knew him personally knew that. I worked at the BBC from 1984 to 1997, nowhere near the Jim'll Fix It studios, ,and I heard the rumours. I heard that there always had to be a chaperone present when Savile and girls in their early teens were in the studio. Well, shouldn't there always have been? I modelled a bit when I was a child, and there was always a chaperone there. My son acted and modelled as a child, and there was always a chaperone there. The chaperones had to be there because everyone knew what men might do to children who had no-one there to protect them. Savile cultivated an utterly eccentric image and bawled his catchphrases so that nobody could see his real face. It's that simple.
Savile wasn't a paedophile. No more was Wilfrid Brambell, who was known to be similarly inclined (and who cultivated the image of a leering, dirty old man because - that was what he was. Clever.) Those two just liked them young. Young, but post puberty. Gary Glitter, now, I think he likes them younger than that. He went to South-East Asia, where the girls look younger than they do in the West, and where puberty happens later. And he emerged on to the scene a bit later, when there was less tolerance of such behaviour, so he is now disgraced, as Savile and Brambell were not in their lifetimes. Jonathan King, of course, did not get away with it. He went to prison in 2001. But he liked boys, not girls.
I was a teenager from 1967 to 1974. I was groped, fondled and molested many times. It happened routinely. A friend of your father's giving you a lift home, a man on a bus, a hand up your skirt in a crowded place, nothing out of the ordinary there. I didn't like it, but I learned to deal with it, and I don't consider myself to have been abused. It didn't happen to me so much after I was about 15 - I looked more like a grown woman by then. And besides, I was going out with boys by then. Which was a whole other minefield. You had to let them do enough so you weren't a prick-tease, and not enough to get you called easy. How glad I am those days are (more or less) gone. My daughter has been able to have easy friendships with boys in a way that I rarely could back then. If you were friendly with a boy people assumed it was sexual. Not any more.
So, that was the culture. Savile got away with it because men in positions of power could. Savile protected himself by focusing on young girls who were vulnerable, who did not have parents around protecting them. The BBC isn't particularly at fault here. It's wrong to single it out when everywhere was the same. All that has happened is that conduct like this is now disapproved of. Rightly. To prey upon young girls who are not yet used to their own sexuality, who are susceptible, as all young girls are, to flattery and being told they are attractive, is despicable. But when men could routinely get away with it, they did it. Not just TV stars Not just Jimmy Savile. Ordinary men everywhere. Men like your dad, behaving despicably. And the girls, if they got more than a passing grope, were silly little sluts who deserved what they got.
Young flesh is still a commodity, around the world. It shouldn't be, but it is.
I would only say that preying upon young girls is not paedophilia. Abusing children is different from, and worse than, what Savile did. And there is a danger, in this situation in which the BBC is tying itself in knots, of forgetting that. Human sexuality is not simple. But knowing what is right and what is wrong is simple. Though never easy.