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Jimmy Savile victim says she was told to ‘go away’ by BBC Top of the Pops crew

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A victim of Jimmy Savile has revealed how a crew member on the BBC’s Top of the Pops told her to ‘go away’ after she complained she had been groped on camera by the prolific sex offender.

Sylvia Edwards, 63, of Twickenham, South West London, was 18 when she appeared beside Savile on the show in November 1976 and told how the presenter’s hand was ‘rock solid’ and she ‘couldn’t shift it out the way’.

Disturbing footage shows her desperately trying to get away from the paedophile while screaming and twisting as he grabs her out of view – and Ms Edwards said today how she was ’embarrassed’ and his ‘hand just kept moving’.

In the clip, Savile, who died in 2011, tells the viewers while staring at the camera as he continues to grope Ms Edwards: ‘I tell you something, a fella could get used to this, as it happens, he really could get used to it.’

Mother-of-two Ms Edwards said she went to a ‘man with headphones’ and asked him: ‘He’s just put his hand up behind me and I didn’t like it.’ But she claimed that the man told her: ‘Oh go away, that’s just Jimmy, go away.’

She spoke to Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard on Good Morning Britain today ahead of a new documentary about Savile’s decades-long career of abuse on ITV at 9pm tonight, called ‘Savile: Portrait Of A Predator’.

Sylvia Edwards, who appeared on ITV's Good Morning Britain, has revealed how a crew member on Top of the Pops told her to 'go away' after she complained she had been groped on camera by Jimmy Savile

Sylvia Edwards, who appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, has revealed how a crew member on Top of the Pops told her to ‘go away’ after she complained she had been groped on camera by Jimmy Savile

Sylvia Edwards was 18 when she appeared beside the presenter on the BBC music show Top of the Pops in November 1976

Sylvia Edwards was 18 when she appeared beside the presenter on the BBC music show Top of the Pops in November 1976

In a preview clip on GMB today, Ms Edwards said: ‘His hand wasn’t going away, and I was trying to move it, but I tell you what his hand was rock solid and it would not move, it would not move. And I was getting embarrassed, because I couldn’t shift it out the way, and I was getting shifted, you know what I mean, his hand just kept moving.’

Reacting to what she said, presenter Reid told GMB viewers: ‘That’s disgusting, Sylvia, and I just feel revolted, as anyone would do now – but also by the fact that whenever we were watching that it was all a big joke at the time. Nobody realised, and we should have done, what he was actually doing.’

‘He gave himself greater opportunity to offend’: What has been said about Jimmy Savile today

A range of people have spoken out about Jimmy Savile both on today’s Good Morning Britain and for tonight’s new ITV documentary. Here is what they said:

Sylvia Edwards, Savile’s victim

‘I went down and this man with headphones, I said to him: ‘He’s just put his hand up behind me and I didn’t like it.’ And he said: ‘Oh go away, that’s just Jimmy, go away.’ Told me to go, leave.’

Gary Pankhurst, Operation Yewtree detective

‘Each decision and change that he made in his career actually gave him greater opportunity to offend against a greater number of individuals and also he increased the amount of protection around him’

Kate Lampard, who led NHS investigations into Savile

‘There was a sense of shock, really, that sensible people had allowed this to happen over a very, very long period of time. They stopped seeing what was before their eyes.’

Ian Hampton, former bass player with The Sparks

‘I went to a producer on the night and said to him: ‘What’s going on with Savile?. And he shrugged me off – ‘don’t be ridiculous’. And that was the response I got from the producer and a couple of other DJs. They shrugged it off as well.

Susanna Reid, Good Morning Britain presenter

‘I just feel revolted, as anyone would do now – but also by the fact that whenever we were watching that it was all a big joke at the time. Nobody realised, and we should have done, what he was actually doing.’

Meirion Jones, journalist

‘If you’re a friend of the Royal Family, a chief constable is going to think twice about putting a team on an investigation of you.’

And Ms Edwards told GMB: ‘It’s hard sometimes because I knew what was going on and I asked for help on it. When the camera went away from us we could actually get out of where we were because we were surrounded – the camera clogged us in.

‘And I went down and this man with headphones, I said to him: ‘He’s just put his hand up behind me and I didn’t like it.’ And he said: ‘Oh go away, that’s just Jimmy, go away.’ Told me to go, leave.

‘I was only with one girl at the time and we were talking about it on the way back home. But I knew it was wrong, but it was just because I’d been told to get lost, and it was the end of the thing, being ushered out, I just literally went home and told my dad, because there was no one else I can talk to.

‘At the time he said he couldn’t do anything to Jimmy Saville could he, and I don’t suppose they thought about the police then.’

This new documentary for ITV explores how Savile engineered his career and lifestyle to abuse and escape detection, and why the BBC, hospital trusts and the police failed to stop him.

The programme features new testimony from those who were victims and who bore witness to his crimes, including Operation Yewtree detective Gary Pankhurst who followed up hundreds of reports of abuse by Savile.

In his first ever interview, Mr Pankhurst describes Savile as an abuser first who went on to become a celebrity – a high-functioning psychopath who learned from criminals early in his career as a DJ how to control and manipulate those around him.

He said Savile used this approach at the BBC and at the Top of the Pops studio, where underage audience members became his victims.

Speaking on GMB today, Mr Pankhurst said: ‘My view on this is that I came to this investigation having spent a long part of my career looking at sex offenders, and the reality is that what I could see with Jimmy Savile, although a lot of his career was in the public domain, and he was viewed as a celebrity, actually you could look throughout his career that he made the same choices as many sexual offenders and predators that operate in the shadows.

‘I think that with the distance of time, to look at these things in more detail, immediately in the white heat of the revelations that came out and the inquiries that took place, organisations looked to themselves to strengthen their own processes to try and prevent this kind of thing happening again.

‘But if we look at the individual and how they managed to operate, what I was thinking about in terms of him as an offender was how he maximised his opportunities to offend, and as you see his career progressing, each decision and change that he made in his career actually gave him greater opportunity to offend against a greater number of individuals and also he increased the amount of protection around him.’ 

Savile's victim spoke to Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard on Good Morning Britain today ahead of a new documentary

Savile’s victim spoke to Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard on Good Morning Britain today ahead of a new documentary

Operation Yewtree detective Gary Pankhurst, who was also on GMB today, followed up hundreds of reports of abuse by Savile

Operation Yewtree detective Gary Pankhurst, who was also on GMB today, followed up hundreds of reports of abuse by Savile

Mr Pankhurst said every move Savile made in his career and lifestyle was calculated to improve his chances of being able to offend and avoid detection.

A new documentary about Savile's decades-long career of abuse is on ITV tonight, called 'Savile: Portrait Of A Predator'

A new documentary about Savile’s decades-long career of abuse is on ITV tonight, called ‘Savile: Portrait Of A Predator’

He added that Savile rarely abused the same person more than once, and spread his offending across Britain where he had several different homes, ensuring no single police force became aware of all of his actions.

He added: ‘The concerns are potentially that we could look at Savile and say well this was an aberration that happened in a different time and its relevance to today is less because of all the things that have been put in place to change the structure of organisations, but the reality is that there were plenty of opportunities to find out what Savile was up to during his period of offending.

‘But what we all have to take responsibility for as individuals is to not accept and normalise behaviour that is… maybe at the time, it may just seem inappropriate. As Sylvia describes, she knew it was wrong, he was being handsy, he was doing what he was doing and that was normalised within the environment that he was working with at the time and he was controlling that environment.

‘And that’s the kind of thing, the message I would like to get across today – is that whatever environment you’re in, and whatever position that you hold within that environment, when you see things that you don’t feel is right, you don’t know what’s going on that you’re not aware of, and therefore there could be a huge amount out there that isn’t being reported that isn’t being dealt with because everybody else is thinking the same thing – that somebody else will deal with it.’

Speaking about Savile’s compartmentalisation of his life, Mr Pankhurst added: ‘You start to think, well, why, why was that the case? And, you know, rather like terrorist cells you don’t provide all your information to more than one, so you can’t overlap. He was just somebody who was very difficult to keep track of.’

Royal insiders are also featured on the programme explaining how Savile courted Establishment figures, particularly Prince Charles, to give him respectability.

Meirion Jones, a journalist who investigated Savile’s crimes shortly after his death, said: ‘If you’re a friend of the Royal Family, a chief constable is going to think twice about putting a team on an investigation of you.’

Prince Charles’s office declined to comment for the programme.

Kate Lampard, who led a review of Savile’s offending across the NHS, said she could not understand how managers failed to act, adding: ‘There was a sense of shock, really, that sensible people had allowed this to happen over a very, very long period of time. They stopped seeing what was before their eyes.’

Also quoted in the programme is Ian Hampton, a former bass player with The Sparks, who said of Savile: I think he regarded Top of the Pops as a happy hunting ground for young ladies. On one occasion I was on Top of the Pops, Savile disappeared with a young girl to a dressing room.

‘A few minutes later, she returned looking absolutely shaken. After I saw this I went to a producer on the night and said to him: ‘What’s going on with Savile?.’

‘And he shrugged me off – ‘don’t be ridiculous’. And that was the response I got from the producer and a couple of other DJs. They shrugged it off as well. I think they were in awe of Savile, or in terror. He was a very threatening person.’

Savile: Portrait Of A Predator is on ITV at 9pm tonight



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