Childline founder Esther Rantzen, a BBC broadcaster and long-time campaigner against child abuse, has admitted she had heard rumours about the behaviour of flamboyant entertainer Jimmy Savile.
Ms Rantzen, who appears in an ITV documentary tonight which claims Sir Jimmy sexually abused schoolgirls as young as 12, said: "There were always rumours that he behaved very inappropriately, sexually, with children."
She said: "For the first time there's more than one single child complaining.
"There are five adult women producing very similar statements about the way they were attacked."
Her comment underlines a whole series of questions being posed this week as observers ask how much BBC bosses knew of the star's behaviour and what action they should have taken to investigate.
Mr Savile, who died in October 2011, aged 84, was a household name and frontline entertainer from the 1960s and worked tirelessly as a charity fundraiser.
But the documentary Exposure makes claims supported by a number of women that Mr Savile indecently assaulted young girls - rumours of which apparently surfaced within days of his death.
Colleagues apparently knew of his behaviour, denied by his family, for years and newspapers and the police had investigated allegations.s
Surrey Police confirmed they received an allegation of indecent assault in 2007 which is alleged to have occurred at a children's home in Staines but the Crown Prosecution Service said there was insufficient evidence to proceed.
Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini said this week he had been waiting 30 years for the allegations to come out and the star had used his high-profile and successful charity work to stop claims being exposed.
Alison Bellamy, who wrote the star's authorised biography, said: "The rumours had been circulating for many decades."
However she said when he was quizzed by police he was very annoyed and "strenuously denied it over the years."
ITV's research is based on a BBC Newsnight film about allegations surrounding Sir Jimmy which was dropped by programme chiefs last December for "editorial reasons" because the abuse story "could not be substantiated."
Trustees of the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust said they were "personally outraged and have no reason to believe these allegations."
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