Rusthall press officer's role in Jimmy Savile saga revealed
By Kent and Sussex Courier | Friday, October 26, 2012, 08:01
A RUSTHALL woman has been dragged into the Jimmy Savile scandal after an e-mail she sent to the then-head of Newsnight Peter Rippon discussing the disgraced presenter was leaked.
disgraced: Newsnight axed probe into Jimmy Savile's past
dragged in: Helen Deller
The e-mail, sent on December 7 by BBC press officer Helen Deller to Mr Rippon and journalist Meirion Jones, appeared in the Times last week. In it Ms Deller, of Edward Street, asked about the show's planned exposé on the Jim'll Fix It host as a sex offender.
The former Courier reporter asked the pair if Savile's victims were willing to speak on camera and wanted more information on the programme. She also said a "bit of managing" would be needed, suggesting the BBC was aware of the negative impact the show would have on the corporation.
The e-mail said: "Aside from any promotional efforts, we may need to do a bit of managing around this – despite such rumours circulating in the media for years.
"In addition to any press interest we should bear in mind how the BBC complaints team respond."
The e-mail featured as part of the Panorama investigation into why the BBC pulled the Newsnight investigation into the former Radio 1 DJ on Monday.
The Rusthall resident has worked at the BBC since 2011 and looks after publicity for shows including Newsround, Newsbeat on Radio 1.
The BBC is currently fighting claims it pulled the Newsnight report because there were tribute shows to Savile planned as part of the Christmas schedule.
This week director general George Entwistle said the investigation should not have been dropped, and two inquiries had been launched.
Ms Deller told The Courier she did not want to comment while the investigation was on-going.