Top BBC editor steps aside during Savile probe


LONDON (AP) -- A top BBC editor stepped aside Monday while the BBC reviews its editorial decision to pull the plug on a segment about sexual abuse allegations against a prominent U.K. children's television star, the late Jimmy Savile.

The broadcaster said Monday the editor of the "Newsnight" program that opted not to broadcast the allegations, Peter Rippon, is "stepping aside with immediate effect."

The BBC says Rippon's explanation of his decision in a blog post earlier was "inaccurate or incomplete in some respects."

He is the first BBC figure directly blamed for the broadcaster's failure to properly report on abuse claims against Savile, who died last year at the age of 84 after a long career in children's television.

The BBC is facing criticism for providing different explanations for pulling the December segment that would have lifted the veil on Savile's abusive history, which had been rumored but not reported on at the time.

Savile hosted the music program "Top of the Pops" and "Jim'll Fix It." He was also active in numerous charities.

The BBC is set to air its own investigation of its failure to report on Savile's sexual abuses Monday night on the "Panorama" show.

On the show set for broadcast Monday, BBC correspondents claim the Savile segment was pulled because of pressure from senior management.

The fallout and allegations of a cover-up have damaged the BBC's reputation, and Savile's actions are also being investigated by police and other agencies.

Police say there may be more than 200 potential victims of the entertainer, known for his garish track suits and platinum hair.