Sir Roger Jones, a former BBC governor and Children in Need chairman, has claimed that he refused to let Jimmy Savile “anywhere near” the charity after suspecting he abused young people.

Jones, who was a BBC governor for Wales between 1997 and 2002, said he heard rumours about Savile’s behaviour from staff in London and took measures to prevent the Jim’ll Fix It star supporting Children in Need.

If the path had been cleared for Savile’s involvement, Jones said he would have stepped down from his role as chairman. However, he stressed that he did not tell other BBC management because there was not enough evidence against Savile.

“When I was with Children in Need we took the decision that we didn’t want him anywhere near the charity and we just stepped up our child protection policies which again would have put him at risk if he tried anything,” Jones told the BBC.

He added that Savile was considered a “pretty creepy sort of character”, but the lack of “hard evidence” about his actions meant he didn’t take the matter further.

“If you’re going to go on the attack and make claims against him then you’d need evidence, hard evidence that simply wasn’t there,” Jones said. “But if you’re protecting yourself you can do that without evidence.”