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ITV plans second Savile doc

ITV is planning a second documentary on Jimmy Savile just weeks after its original investigation prompted a media storm about the former Top of the Pops star.

The commercial broadcaster’s production arm ITV Studios is again working with journalist Mark Williams-Thomas on second Savile doc for its Exposure strand, which is likely to ratchet up the pressure on the BBC and other public bodies embroiled in the sexual harassment scandal.

Details of the investigation are being closely guarded by ITV insiders but it is understood that the documentary is likely to include new revelations about Savile’s behaviour, with police investigating claims that he sexually abused 300 young people over a 40-year period.

It is unlikely to focus on the crisis currently engulfing the BBC to avoid overlapping with some of the findings of Panorama’s investigation last week, which cast new light on the shelved Newsnight story on Savile in late 2011.

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One insider said the ITV1 programme, which is set to air in late November, will be a “pull together of everything we have found”. The source did not go into further detail because it is likely that the full scale of Williams-Thomas’ latest findings will not become clear until close to the point when the documentary is aired.

ITV will be keen to repeat the performance of its original show, Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, which garnered a consolidated audience of 2.27m - an impressive 23.94% share of the available audience. It created shockwaves in the press and has continued to be a source of headlines nearly a month after it was broadcast on 4 October.

The ITV Studios documentary was denied access to BBC clips of Savile by the Jim’ll Fix It star’s estate and had to rely on pictures, news clips and a limited amount of “fair dealt” footage.

However, it is understood that Savile’s estate has since softened and ITV producers will now be able to purchase clips from the BBC’s archive – if it is granted access by the corporation.

The second Savile expose will be fronted by Williams-Thomas, while the producer is Tom Stone. Alexander Gardiner is the executive producer.

Readers' comments (3)

  • I can't help thinking this is a really stupid thing to be doing now. The police are still investigating and whilst they can't prosecute Savile now, there may be other legal action they wish to pursue, but with all this coverage there is a real danger of a level of public opinion making it impossible to mount a fair trial, on a serious matter where there are many damaged victims to consider. Wouldn't it be better to hold off more programming until the whole events run their course and there is no danger of disrupting the police and legal doing their jobs on behalf of those victims? It would probably be a better programme with a conclusion.

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  • It would be most unlike ITV to miss a band wagon whilst it's passing!

    To jump on another ITV band wagon, should it perhas be titled "DJ/Presenter from hell"?!

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  • ITV are hardly jumping on a bandwagon when they were driving the bandwagon in the first place.

    This is a massive story with huge consequences in many areas. ITV should be congratulated for proper investigative journalism with an actual result, not cynically derided for stirring up public interest.

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