Don't penalise Children In Need to punish the BBC
ONE of the many unhappy aspects of the Jimmy Savile revelations has been the potential impact it may have on the charities with which he was associated.
All have been quick to distance themselves as much as possible from the shamed disc jockey, who has been accused of sexually abusing hundreds of young girls over 40 years.
Savile had the loosest of connections with the annual Children In Need appeal, having made three appearances on the BBC's mega-fund-raiser back in the 1980s.
But all the signs are, from newspaper letters and radio phone-ins, that the Savile fallout will adversely affect this worthy cause over the weekend.
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The BBC's reputation has fallen alarmingly in recent weeks.
That is largely attributable to its failure to deal with the whisperings about Savile when he was taking advantage of young girls through his Beeb work, aggravated by the muddled bungling which has taken place in upper echelons since.
Yet what a crying shame it would be if members of the public decide, because it is a BBC extravaganza, that it is not appropriate to support Children In Need this year.
If anything, the sordid Savile exposé has turned up the spotlight on the vulnerability of youngsters.
Their suffering may be at the hands of celebrities or more anonymous but equally menacing adults, be they relatives or those who try to cultivate relationships with teenage girls through street or social encounters.
That means the need to support the work of organisations such as Children In Need is surely greater than ever.
Indeed, charities in general have sorely felt the squeeze of the nation's recession and public spending cuts in recent times.
Local authorities have had a lot less money to put their way and they are becoming ever more dependent on the public to keep them financially afloat and their work viable.
So give Children In Need fund-raisers whatever support you feel can afford, whether they are sitting in a bath of baked beans or doing something more practical such as sponsored knitting.
Bosses at the BBC may feel wounded if the appeal does not bring in as many millions of pounds as usual – but the greater pain will be caused to suffering or under-privileged children who will not get the benefit of your generosity.