News veteran John Simpson has claimed that the BBC gagged him when he tried to expose the behaviour of an unnamed children's radio presenter who fits the profile of corporation legend Derek McCulloch.

Simpson spoke in thinly veiled terms about a sex abuser he called "Uncle Dick", who was famous as a children's radio entertainer from the 1930s to the 60s. Simpson told The Sun that the abuser was one of the BBC's biggest names from the 1920s until his death in 1967.

McCulloch is best remembered as "Uncle Mac" in BBC Radio's immensely popular Children's Favouriites and Children's Hour and for playing the Larry the Lamb character in Toytown.

His sign-off line, "Goodnight children, everywhere", was heard by four million youngsters who tuned in to every show.

Distinguished foreign correspondent Simpson said: "Week after week, children from all over the country would win competitions to visit the BBC and meet Uncle Dick.

"He would welcome them, show them around, give them lunch, then take them to the gents and interfere with them," claimed Simpson in his book Strange Places, Questionable People.

"If parents complained, the director general's office would write saying the nation wouldn't understand such an accusation against a much-loved figure."

Simpson said he uncovered the allegations while researching the presenter's obituary in 1967. He said an unnamed woman branded the man believed to be McCulloch "an evil old bastard".

"I hope he died in agony," she added.

IBTimes UK contacted the BBC and asked if McCulloch's activities were under investigation as part of two investigations into sex abuse at the BBC unveiled by current director general George Entwistle.

A spokesman said: "The information will be shared with the BBC investigations unit and the police and we will look into these allegations as part of the Jimmy Savile review."

Simpson's agency Kruger Cowne said: "He [Simpson] is in Afghanistan. He is not prepared to comment."

McCulloch was so popular during his time at the BBC that members of the royal family would be taken on studio tours by him.

McCulloch was rewarded for his work with an OBE in 1964.