5 December 2012 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The BBC provided the small-screen highlight of the year – but not in the way it would have wished

It was not the most obvious slot for a programme that would result in several high-profile BBC scalps and a corporation in meltdown. But at 11.10pm one Wednesday in early October, ITV aired a documentary that changed public perception of a man previously considered a national treasure.

Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, with its allegations that Savile had raped and sexually assaulted young girls, was a fine piece of documentary-making. If television makes the first-person account powerful, then a first-person account of abuse at the hands of a television star resounded even more deeply.

Reporter Mark Williams-Thomas's programme made its audience ask: how could Savile's bosses and peers have not known? Why did nobody attempt to stop it? And why, even after his death, did Newsnight apparently not dare to report it? »

- Vicky Frost

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