BBC Director General George Entwistle Declines to Participate in Panorama Program (Report)

George Entwistle - P 2012

Entwistle turns down an approach by the the channel's investigative news show to interview him about a "Newsnight" decision to drop an item on disgraced TV host Jimmy Savile.

LONDON – BBC director general George Entwistle is refusing to be interviewed by the investigative news show Panorama team investigating the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.

According to a report in The Guardian, Entwistle will not take part in the program which will also investigate why a Newsnight report on the late presenter of Top Of The Pops, who is now facing myriad charges of abuse, was canned before airing.

Entwistle's team, which was aware of the existence of the Newsnight inquiry, is citing legal advice that he should only co-operate with the police, formal reviews set up by the BBC and a Commons committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday, according to The Guardian.

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BBC's director of news Helen Boaden and Stephen Mitchell, her deputy, who were both involved in the Newsnight film and were aware of its contents, are also not expected to give interviews to Panorama.

The producer of the canned Newsnight film, Meiron Jones, is working at Panorama on its upcoming program, according to the report.

Newsnight began its investigation into the presenter shortly after his death at age 84 iin October last year.

Panorama's investigation will air Monday in the U.K.

Entwistle is due to give evidence to the culture, media and sport select committee Tuesday morning.

The BBC has announced two main reviews, one led by Dame Janet Smith, who will look at allegations of abuse by Savile at the BBC, and the second by former Sky News editor Nick Pollard into the dropping of the Newsnight investigation.