Now BBC drops Savile's Pops: Archive episodes are binned by the Corporation



01:31 GMT, 2 November 2012

Binned: Top of the Pops shows starring Jimmy Savile have been removed from BBC archives

Binned: Top of the Pops shows starring Jimmy Savile have been removed from BBC archives

The iconic TV show is synonymous with Jimmy Savile, who hosted it over four decades, including the first episode in 1964 and the last in 2006.

So it’s no surprise that the BBC is treating the return of Top Of The Pops with trepidation, after shocking revelations that the late presenter groped a teenage audience member live on air in 1976.

BBC bosses have decided to go ahead with the show’s annual special on Christmas Day and an insider says: ‘It’s very unfortunate, but it would be disappointing if the disgusting behaviour of one man impacted on the reputation of a legendary show like TOTP.’

Yet it was BBC executives who continued to link Savile (pictured) with the show. Despite finishing a 20-year run as presenter in 1984, he returned to host TOTP specials.

Significantly, he was also invited back to be the face of the last regular edition of the show in 2006. /11/02/article-2226604-15C000A2000005DC-405_634x745.jpg” width=”634″ height=”745″ alt=”Knives are out: Christopher Maloney, centre, is reportedly causing problems backstage on the X Factor” class=”blkBorder” />

Knives are out: Christopher Maloney, centre, is reportedly causing problems backstage on the X Factor

Simon Cowell’s staff also believe the cheesy crooner has ‘no hope’ of being developed into a pop star. Show staff members tell me he is now ‘the least popular contestant in X factor history’ after he ‘faked’ his nerves to secure public votes. One adds: ‘He eats dinner alone because he’s so rude to producers, assistants and contestants, then spends most of the night on his mobile voting for himself. So, where did the nerves go’

But he remains popular among voters. Another source says: ‘We believe the strong parochial support from Liverpool is keeping Christopher in the competition.’

The finger is being pointed at him as the root cause of problems between Gary and fellow judge Tulisa. Gary said on Saturday’s live show she had ‘fag ash breath’ — and there were rumours she wouldn’t allow him to enter her dressing room to say sorry.

But Tulisa tells me: ‘I did let Gary into my room, and that’s where I accepted his apology. I’m over it now.’

Tom Daley

As I predicted, Tom Daley has used his Olympic success to launch a TV career, starting with ITV1’s new reality show Splash, in which he will teach diving to celebrities.

However, the series, based on a hit Dutch format, is struggling to attract big names to take part.

My source reveals: ‘The problem with the show is that so many major stars are so body conscious they can’t think of anything worse than having to wear a swimsuit or Speedos on national TV.’

Can you blame them

Downton's a hit for its 'old girls'

While its younger cast members, like Michelle Dockery and Joanne Froggatt, are swamped with movie offers, Downton Abbey’s more mature actresses are grateful for a major TV drama that doesn’t discriminate based on age.

Speaking about ageism in TV, 56-year-old Phyllis Logan, who plays Mrs Hughes the housekeeper, tells me: ‘There’s been a lot of TV drama and British-made films which have not had a lot of scope or roles for women of my age.

‘It’s all youth-orientated. So it is nice to have something like this where we’re not just in a sideline role or playing a token old lady.’

Lesley Nicol, 59, who plays cook Mrs Patmore, agrees: ‘We’ve all got proper parts — it’s encouraging to other actresses of our age.’

She believes her career has progressively improved and adds: ‘I want to be Thora Hird — ancient in my 80s and still going at it.’

The work of Charles Dickens is making a big impact on U.S. TV. In a bid to replicate the success of Downton Abbey, two new dramas using Dickens’ stories as source material are being developed.

Expectations, now being produced by movie star Reese Witherspoon, moves the novel Great Expectations to the city of San Francisco. Meanwhile, Legacy is a soap version of the book.

‘Without Downton, you couldn’t imagine Dickens being on mainstream American TV,’ my Hollywood source explains.