The BBC have publicly apologised for an oversight in their programming schedule that saw a rerun episode of popular former children’s show Tweenies air including a parody of disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile.
The broadcaster’s toddler-aimed TV network CBeebies yesterday (20 January) aired a repeat of an episode made in 2001, where the character ‘Max’ pays homage to the late DJ and TV host (best-known for shows such as Top of the Pops and Jim’ll Fix It) by dressing up in a white wig and Savile-style tracksuit, also adopting the accent and on-stage mannerisms of the presenter as he hosts a talent show for the children.
Savile, who died age 84 in October 2011, has been posthumously accused of over 200 sexual crimes, with victims of his assault reported to have been as young as 8. The investigation into his offences is ongoing, and he has been stripped of almost all titles honours he received during his lifetime, likely to include his knighthood (given in 1990) at a later date.
The BBC said of their mistaken broadcast: “This morning CBeebies broadcast a repeat of an episode of the Tweenies, originally made in 2001, featuring a character dressed as a DJ impersonating Jimmy Savile. This programme will not be repeated and we are very sorry for any offence caused.”
The segment which caused the controversy can be seen below, but is this an over-reaction to an un-named parody of Savile’s on-screen traits (with no possible reference to the terrible acts committed off it), along with the fact that the programme’s target audience are highly unlikely to know or care what the controversy is? Even if it is a morally-dubious broadcast, it can be highly doubted that even the creators of Tweenies could remember every detail of all 390 episodes…