Sir Jimmy Savile claiming (L) and convicted paedophile Gary Glitter (BBC/Reuters)
Sir Jimmy Savile claiming (L) and convicted paedophile Gary Glitter (BBC/Reuters) Reuters

Sir Jimmy Savile once claimed former 70s pop star and convicted paedophile Garry Glitter did nothing wrong and was only arrested because he was a celebrity.

The opinions have come into light on a new documentary which accuses the former Jim'll Fix It Presenter of molesting and raping girls as young as 14 at the height of his fame.

Former glam rock singer Glitter was jailed in 1999 for four months for downloading 4,000 pornographic images of children and then deported from Vietnam for assaulting two girls aged 10 and 11 in 2008.

Five woman, now in their 50s, have come forward to accuse the late DJ of sexual abuse and will feature on the ITV documentary Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile, due to air on Wednesday 3 October.

During the programme, Savile can be heard saying in 2000: "Now Gary, all he did was to take his computer into PC World to get it repaired. They went into the hard drive, saw all these dodgy pictures and told the police and the police then 'Oh we've got a famous person ... Oh my goodness, yeah we'll have them'.

"But Gary has not sold them, has not tried to sell them, not tried to show them in public or anything like that. It were for his own gratification. Whether it was right or wrong is, of course, it's up to him as a person. But they didn't do anything wrong but they are then demonised."

"If you said to that copper, what's Gary Glitter done wrong? Well nothing really. He's just sat at home watching dodgy films."

ITV has defended the programme, which is due to air nearly a year after the former Top of the Pops presenter's death.

An ITV spokesman said: "This documentary is the result of an in-depth investigation into long-standing allegations of serious and widespread sexual misconduct by Sir Jimmy Savile. Because of the very serious nature of the claims made by several interviewees in relation to this, particular care and consideration was of course given to the decision to produce and broadcast this programme.

"The programme takes full account of the fact that Sir Jimmy is not here to defend himself against these claims."

The documentary has led to accusations that the BBC knew or at least suspected Savile was abusing girls but did not act on it because of his huge reputation at the time.

Former That's Life presenter and consumer champion Esther Rantzen said many people in TV "blocked our ears" to the accusations surrounding Savile as he was seen as a "sort of God-like figure".

A BBC spokesman said it had found no record of "misconduct or allegations of misconduct" by Savile during his time at the corporation.

In a statement, the BBC said: "Whilst the BBC condemns any behaviour of the type alleged in the strongest terms, in the absence of evidence of any kind found at the BBC that corroborates the allegations that have been made it is simply not possible for the corporation to take any further action."

A spokesman at the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust, a charity set up by the late TV presenter, told IB Times UK: "It is well known that Surrey police investigated an allegation of underage sexual abuse against Sir Jimmy during his lifetime and determined no action should be taken against him.

"We cannot help but wonder why a programme containing these allegations has been made after his death, at a time when he cannot defend the claims nor can any such allegations be fully verified."

Sir Jimmy Savile Documentary: Alleged Victims of Child Rape and Sex Abuse Speak Out