A new television documentary will claim Sir Jimmy Savile sexually abused teenage girls while at the height of his fame in the Seventies.
The programme, based on research by a former Surrey police officer, includes interviews with women, now in their 40s and 50s, who will claim they were subjected to abuse by the veteran presenter.
The documentary is being developed by ITV Studios, which also produces shows for rival broadcasters. Senior sources at ITV say they have made no decision on whether to broadcast the film – which one programme insider said would ‘shock the nation’.
The alleged victims have been tracked down by Mark Williams-Thomas, a former detective constable with Surrey Police who is now a successful TV presenter specialising in child protection issues.
The insider said some of the women, one of whom was just 13 at the time of the alleged abuse, were terrified of Savile for decades afterwards.
He said: ‘Jimmy Savile was predatory in that he used his hit shows as a vehicle to get to those young girls.
‘All of those who have been interviewed for the documentary were under the age of consent at the time of the abuse. The youngest one was just 13 years old.’
The insider said the documentary also included testimony from people who worked with the Jim’ll Fix It star, while a production source says at least one of the women taking part has waived her right to anonymity so she can talk openly about the abuse.
It is still uncertain if any broadcaster will buy the rights or screen the show.
Mr Williams-Thomas has collaborated with the commercial broadcaster on several recent productions. In 2009, he fronted the acclaimed documentary, To Catch A Paedophile, which involved him confronting a former Catholic priest who admitted on camera to trying to groom a child over the internet.
Jimmy Savile became a national treasure following his stint on Top of the Pops and spent much of his life raising money for charity
Savile, who never married, raised millions of pounds for charity during his lifetime and the allegations will shock his huge army of fans. But it is not the first time Savile, who also fronted the Clunk Click road safety campaign, has been linked to allegations of child sex abuse.
Former detective Mark Williams-Thomas said he has interviewed women who say Savile sexually abused them
In 2007, Surrey Police launched an investigation after complaints that the star had abused pupils at the now-defunct Duncroft Approved School for Girls in the Seventies.
Savile was a regular visitor to the school and is alleged to have taken girls on visits to BBC Television Centre in return for sexual favours. He is also alleged to have made advances on them while taking them for drives in the countryside.
The police investigation was dropped after a Crown Prosecution Service lawyer who was reviewing the investigation advised that no further action be taken.
In January, it emerged that BBC2’s Newsnight programme had launched its own investigation into the same allegations, shortly after the star’s death at the age of 84 in October 2011.
Reporters from the flagship news show are believed to have interviewed three former pupils from the school.
One woman is said to have waived her right to anonymity so she could talk about her ordeal on Newsnight. A subsequent decision by the BBC not to broadcast the report led to allegations of a cover-up, but a spokesman insisted the story was dropped for editorial reasons.
A spokesman for Surrey Police said: ‘In 2007, Surrey Police received a historic allegation of indecent assault which is alleged to have occurred at a children’s home in Staines during the Seventies.
‘The allegation was investigated by police but no further action was taken against any individual.’
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