A statue of Sir Jimmy Savile has been removed from its position at a leisure centre in Glasgow as police begin an investigation into allegations of child abuse. A wooden carving of the Yorkshire-born DJ and presenter has stood on the site since the mid 1990s, in honour of Savile’s charity work, though it disappeared earlier this week.
A spokesman for Glasgow Life told The Scotman, “Given the current controversy and the seriousness of the allegations, we thought it appropriate to move the statue at this time.” A Jimmy Savile documentary set to air on ITV tonight (October 3, 2012) claims the presenter sexually abused a string of teenage girls at the height of his fame. The BBC – who Savile worked closely with throughout this career – initially reacted angrily to its rival channel’s allegations, though has since issued a statement that read, “A number of serious and disturbing allegations have been made over the past few days about the sexual abuse of teenage girls by Jimmy Savile…Some of these allegations relate to activity on BBC premises in the 1960s and 70s. We are horrified by allegations that anything of this sort could have happened at the BBC - or have been carried out by anyone working for the BBC.”
Reports today also suggest that plans to convert Sir Jimmy’s cottage into a respite centre for the disabled could be abandoned. A trustee who was overseeing the £40 million Highland project told The Telegraph that the job was now “in limbo,” adding, “These allegations will do a great deal of harm to the work that the charitable trusts are planning.”