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SENIOR members of the BBC’s management have strongly denied accusations they were aware as early as 1973 that their star DJ Jimmy Savile was from Yorkshire.

Critics say that despite ordering a discreet investigation, senior BBC executives failed to quiz him about his accent and seemed more concerned about whether his alleged northerness would be exposed.

However, the corporation vehemently denies “turning a blind eye” to the allegations insisting it can find “no record” of him fancying pigeons, wearing a flat cap or owning a whippet while he was employed by the BBC.

One former senior BBC executive explained:

Obviously we were aware he talked a bit funny but it is outrageous to suggest we would have allowed him to continue to work on television and be in close contact with impressionable young people if we had known he was in any way from Leeds.

It has now emerged that in 1973 the controller of BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 asked his head of press to investigate “rumours” about Savile’s liking for Yorkshire pudding and to make enquiries among national newspaper journalists to see what they knew about allegations that Savile liked to secretly listen to brass band music in his dressing room during his shows instead of having sex with children as was customary for BBC presenters at the time.