In its first official statement on the Jimmy Savile sex scandal, Scotland Yard has dubbed the late BBC presenter a "predatory sex offender" suspected of abusing 25 young girls in allegations dating back to 1959. Police are actually pursuing 120 separate lines of inquiry against Sir Jimmy, reports The Telegraph.

So far, eight criminal allegations have been formally recorded against Savile, two of rape and six of indecent assault involving girls as young as 13. Scotland Yard say the presenter had a "predilection" for young girls and that his offending was on a "national scale" spanning four decades. Perhaps most shockingly, police are now in contact with Leeds General Infirmary about the possibility that Savile abused patients there. Commander Peter Spindler, the Met's head of specialist crime investigations, told the BBC, "At this stage it is quite clear from what women are telling us that Savile was a predatory sex offender." Veteran comedian Freddie Starr has also been accused of groping a girl in Savile's dressing room in 1974, though appeared on television this week to deny the claims, telling ITV News, "To be accused like this is devastating. I've got to fight back.I will take this evidence down to the police station and show them. I want a police investigation. I want them to interview me."

This week, Prime Minister David Cameron hinted on the Daybreak breakfast programme that Savile's knighthood may well be revoked.