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Sir Jimmy Savile was a fixture on British television.
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Date published: 10/3/2012
LONDON--For decades, Jimmy Savile was a fixture on British television--an eccentric, aggressively jocular host of children's shows and a tireless charity fundraiser. When he died last year at 84--by then knighted as Sir Jimmy--he drew tributes from Prince Charles and thousands of fans.
Now several women have come forward to claim "Sir Jimmy" was also a sexual predator who abused underage girls.
The allegations have set off ripples of shock--but not of surprise. There had, colleagues said, long been rumors. The main question being asked now is: Why did no one do anything?
"Maybe it was just the fact that Jimmy knew everybody," said. Esther Rantzen, a former BBC journalist and founder of the ChildLine child-protection charity. "We made him into the Jimmy Savile who was untouchable, who nobody could criticize."
Child protection advocates say the case fits a pattern seen in the response to the child-molesting Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and in the English town of Rochdale, where a gang of men groomed vulnerable young girls for sex.