Jimmy Savile’s ex-boss said he questioned the DJ over rumours about his private life more than 20 years ago.
Scotland Yard officers say the claims against the late TV presenter span six decades – between 1959 and 2006 – and they are pursuing 340 lines of inquiry.
So far, 12 allegations of sexual offences have been officially recorded but police said there could be 60 victims.
Derek Chinnery, who was BBC Radio 1 controller from 1978 to 1985, admitted he asked Savile directly about the speculation of suspected abuse.
Savile worked at the station from 1969 to 1989, presenting a show of chart songs from previous decades.
Mr Chinnery said: “I asked (Savile), ‘what’s all this, these rumours we hear about you Jimmy?’ And he said, ‘that’s all nonsense’. There was no reason to disbelieve (Savile).”
Speaking about his acceptance of Savile’s denial, Mr Chinnery told BBC Radio 4′s Broadcasting House: “It’s easy now to say how could you just believe him just like that.”
He added: “He was the sort of man that attracted rumours, after all, because he was single, he was always on the move, he was always going around the country.”
The scandal surrounding the former Top of the Pops presenter has mushroomed since ITV screened a documentary in which five women alleged they were abused by the celebrity.
Metropolitan Police detectives are in contact with 14 other forces as the number of allegations against the former DJ continues to rise.
The Department of Health has announced it is to investigate how Savile was allowed to work as a volunteer following allegations that he abused and raped patients at Broadmoor hospital in the 1970s and 1980s.
A spokeswoman said there would be an investigation into how he was appointed to lead a “taskforce” overseeing a restructuring of the hospital’s management.
Lawyers acting for Savile’s alleged victims are said to be considering taking legal action against several NHS trusts and the BBC.
The corporation has come under fire after it emerged that its Newsnight programme abandoned an investigation into the alleged abuse and claims that staff were aware of Savile’s behaviour and failed to take action.
Director General George Entwistle offered an apology to the victims on Friday and announced that two inquiries would be held – into the Newsnight decision and culture and practices at the BBC.
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Article source: http://news.sky.com/story/997497