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The Daily Shame | October 4, 2015

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If Esther Rantzen knew Jimmy Saville was a paedophile…

If Esther Rantzen knew Jimmy Saville was a paedophile…

Hello Esther Rantzen, we’re talking direct to you today. Hi! Remember Childline? We do. We never had to use it, but we always screamed at our parents “we’re calling childline” when we were told to go to our bedroom for being naughty. Not that they ever listened, we’d used the threat so many times.

To be honest, we always found you a bit creepy, Esther. All those teeth. And That’s Life, really, was just fucking strange. There you were, a grown-up person on TV, showing us turnips that looked like willies and dogs who can say sausages and yes, we laughed a little, but then we saw you, a grown-up with all those teeth, and we thought – shouldn’t she be doing something a little more grown-up? We’re the kids here. Why can’t adults all act like John Noakes? Nice, middle-aged men with dogs who act boring, like adults. Not women who show turnips that look like willies.

But then you did Childline and all of that changed. We thought – hey, not only is this something we can use against our parents when we’ve been naughty and they want to send us to bed early, but you’re actually doing something to help children who are being abused. So on the one hand, turnips that look like willies, on the other hand, you care about children really and you did something about it.

And now we find out that you kinda knew about Jimmy Saville but you never did anything about it, and everyone’s pointing the finger at you, the woman who set up Childline, saying “if you knew he was a paedophile…” – well, why didn’t you say something?

You say “it was the word of one girl against a word of a television icon” which implies that television icons can do what they want, so long as it’s just rumours. Lots of rumours. In fact, a lot of people seemed to know about it. We all suspected he was a bit weird – my mum always told me that he hated children and there was something shifty about him. Which is probably why I was never moved to ask Jim to fix anything for me.

But I was never moved to send in a turnip that looked like a willy because you were equally strange. And you both did a lot for charity, didn’t you. I’m beginning to see a lot of similarities here.

However, and this is a big however, we all seem to be blaming you for the massive cover-up at the BBC, and that’s a little unfair of us. Because ultimately, even if you were just like Jimmy Saville in the eyes of those watching TV (a little bit strange), you aren’t actually the Paedo-Finder General. Nobody appointed you to go around the country saying “YOU are a paedophile”.

You did a lot for us kids back in the 80s, and nobody actually appointed you to weed out the Paedos. It seems we’re just beating up on you because Jimmy’s not here to defend himself, and we need someone to blame.

We’re disappointed that you heard the rumours and did nothing, but you’re one of many who heard the rumours and did nothing. What of those in the green room who spread the rumours. What did they do? Nothing. What of those higher up in the BBC who suspected? They did the grand sum of fuck all, giving him series after series of Jim’ll Fix It.

There is nothing good about this whichever way you look at it, but we’re wrong to think that Esther Rantzen is responsible for outing every paedophile, alleged or otherwise. The cover-up, if that’s what it is, was cultural, and that’s what we can’t get our heads around. It wasn’t just one person, it was everyone who gossiped, everyone who suspected and did nothing. Everyone who heard the rumours and said “don’t mention them”. But we, the public, need a convenient scapegoat.

The truth is that we’re all partly responsible, for swallowing the story he spun about himself, and not questioning more. We let all of those children down for not listening and believing. Esther,  you’re one of us, but don’t think that’s a good thing.


  1. CDA

    Childline was created as a charity to help children and their emotional problems. Probably only 10 to 20 per cent of the calls were to do with physical abuse.

  2. Robbo

    Esther Ranzen, who hosted That’s Life for years and years, which prided itself on it’s investigative journalism to weed out bad people, and who founded Child line, not only knew about persistent rumours, but also knew full well that Saville had pretty much unrestricted access to scores of children’s hospitals and care homes and SHE SAID NOTHING??? She didn’t even think to investigate?

  3. Phil

    She was also married to Desmond Wilcox who was a top executive at the BBC for a decade. So he’d have known too, and between them they managed to do nothing. It’s bad enough for Saville to have been a paedo, but a sad reflection on the BBC to know and by doing nothing colluded with the bastard pervert.

  4. William Forsyth

    This Name and email address is false and used so i can comment with out breaking anonymity clause of and ongoing case however the facts are all at the Guardian to verify. There are 38 victims from just one solicitor and many others scattered across the country, including Scotland.

  5. Pat

    Ester you make me sick. You stood by and did nowt. You knew what that paedo was up to. I hope that you pay.But you will not. You are protected by the establishment. Hang your vile head in shame.

  6. Ag

    Hows about Hollie Greig Guys and Girls and you Ester? You have been informed and choose to do nothing as founder member of Child Line.

  7. Cerys

    Why was it so hard not to spill the beans? Not to speak out. If the price was demotion or even the sack from the BBC, so what? Of course, it would have been worth it a thousand fold. Anything, anything, that stopped the emotional and sexual abuse of children – has got to be worth doing and worth doing well.

    I work for an exam board. On a visit to a school, I witnessed emotional abuse by the Head (no less) to a bunch of young, very vulnerable, teenagers. I was horrified. I reported it. For some time, my boss said “nothing to do with us – it’s Ofsted – forget it”. I persisted, it went up the line and finally something took note but my understanding is that action wasn’t taken – the serious incident didn’t go any, or much, further. I don’t think I helped my development in that organisation at all but I don’t give a dam Whistleblowers should, of course, be protected but, if they’re not or weren’t (as in Saville’s era), child abuse is so serious that whistles should be blown, loudly, regardless.

    Hope the victims and their families find peace. And that the BBC investigates thoroughly – and includes the mind boggling conspiracy of silence. Never again.

  8. Viola

    For goodness sake, some of you are trying to make a scapegoat of Esther Ranzen. Judging by some of the comments there, anyone would think she had been directly involved in the abuse. She’d only heard rumours about Savile’s behaviour, as had many others, but this is not actual evidence which would stand up in court. Anyone who has any real knowledge of the way people react in such circumstances would understand. Esther is a mere human being with human fallibilities. She was honest enough to express her distress and guilt for having missed the obvious clues. I admire her for that.

    As we all know, the truth is easier to see in retrospect.

  9. jj

    What about the children the queen and prince Phillip dissappeared in Canada in 1964, taken away by them for some picnic (probably a ritual) and never seen again. Research Kevin Annetts “hidden history”.Those who have tried to bring these beasts to trial end up being history themselves.

    A can of worms have been opened here, and people need to wake up, this kind of behaviour is huge amonst the so called stars and elites/royals………….

    Saville was the tip of the iceberg and ester almost certainly would have known the crimes he hid behind those rose tinted spectacles….

  10. J B Bassplayer

    Let’s not talk about this in the past tense, Savile may be gone but the abuse of innocents has not. Some high-profilers use children as after-dinner extras. The extent of depravity is phenomenal. Others who know but do not partake are culpable by their silence.

  11. jbwhome

    How many more “paedophiles” are there out there doing what Jimmy Saville was doing, by hiding behind there “charity work” to abuse children. The Police need to start looking at the ones that are still alive and getting away with it. I think the BBC have a lot to answer for. They knew exactly what was going on and in my view if they didnt report it then they are just as responsible. Reminds me of the catholic church!!

  12. Paul

    I don’t believe anything will change vulnerable children will still be victims–unless the culture of denial stops– At Trafalgar Court Mundesley for 12 years we have tried to put the spotlight on fraud– we are ignored!!!

  13. Kieran Zero

    Until it is illegal for any member of the police, judiciary or any other holder of public office to be a member
    of ANY secret society such as the freemasons, or B’nai B’rith or any of those societies, including Common Purpose and all the others [not secret, but secretive,] then you can expect nothing from any of the authorities except damage limitation and a limited hangout. And, of course, many many more dead and missing and abused children.

    Just look at DSK’s lifestyle.

    These people are perverted by power. EVERYTHING needs to change.
    Stop watching TV, stop listening to the BBC. Stop buying papers.
    Their narrative is utterly twisted.

  14. Minami Sumi

    I remember Ester Rantzen phoning a member of the public whose name sounded a bit like “Wong Number” then she took the piss out of them and laughed at their name. I stopped watching her show after that.

  15. The BBC should be investigating St John International head office in London. St John International in London are currently pulling out all the stops in order to present awards to two known members of the St John New Zealand paedophile gang. The awards are to be presented by the Queen’s representative in NZ, the Governor General.

  16. Barbara

    They knew about the Pindown child abuse, and the secret family court abuse, and they have let the victims be persecuted, and have their children persecuted, the police knew the politicians knew the newspapers knew the television people knew the church knew they all knew including Esther Rancid, NAPAC knew, the whole bloody lot of them knew, tHEY HATE US PINDOWN VICTIMS THEY HATE AND DETEST US FOR BEING ABUSED!!!

  17. Barbara

    “She’d only heard rumours about Savile’s behaviour, as had many others”


    ALL of them, the whole lot of them knew all about the Pindown abuse.

    They let us get persecuted over and over and over again.

    They let us get dragged through secret courts and labelled with crap that paedophiles had invented, ie PAS and MSBP


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