Sex Pistols Frontman Banned From BBC for Blowing Whistle on Powerful Paedophile
United Kingdom — John Lydon, also known by his former stage name, Johnny Rotten, has explained what happened when he tried to blow the whistle on Jimmy Savile — long before hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse against the DJ came to light. The former Sex Pistols frontman, currently on a tour through the U.K. with Public Image Ltd, said many young girls told him about the actions of Savile because they were too afraid to report it themselves.
Hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse against TV presenter and DJ Savile came to light after his death in 2011. The harrowing mass of evidence gathered against him included abuse at hospitals and care homes throughout the U.K. The warped crimes of the paedophile, which took place from 1959 to 2006, also included the abuse of72 victims in connection with his work at the BBC. His youngest rape victim was reportedly ten years old.
In 1978, when Savile was at the height of his fame, Lydon, the self-proclaimed king of punk, gave an interview to BBC radio. During that interview, he called Savile a hypocrite and accused him of being into “all sorts of seediness….that we’re not allowed to talk about.” Although the BBCdecided not to broadcast his comments, an excerpt of the interview with Vivienne Goldman was made available as part of the reissue of the first Public Image Ltd album in 2013.
“If you said anything you’d be off playlists, but that didn’t bother me as I was doing a good job of that independently,” the brutally honest former frontman told the Daily Mail last weekend.
Noting his own experience of what has been described as a “culture of secrecy” at the BBC, Lydon added:
“But first-hand experiences were reiterated to me by young girls who went to Top Of The Pops and said he was touchy, feely, creepy, urgh… Doctor Death. I told them to report it but it would have been seen as grassing then. I knew all about it and said so and got myself banned from the BBC. Family values, eh?
“Turns out I was the only one who had any.”
In September 2015, Lydon told Piers Morgan’s Life Stories that he did his bit and said what he had to. As a result, he found himself banned from BBCradio over his contentious behaviour. “They wouldn’t state this directly, there would be other excuses,” he said.

The institutionalised culture of secrecy at the BBC caused a number of employees to be ignored when they reported Savile’s sex crimes. Other, more senior employees failed to reportsuspicious behaviour. In a classic case of the establishment protecting its own — and despite an inquiry that cost millions — no one has been held accountable for the news outlets serious failings — and the fact that Savile could have been stopped in his tracks.

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