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Esther Rantzen calls for Jimmy Savile's knighthood to be stripped
HAMPSHIRE TV star Esther Rantzen has called for the late Jimmy Savile to be stripped of his knighthood.
The founder of Childline, who lives in Bramshaw in the New Forest, was speaking as police declare Savile was a serial sex abuser of teenage girls.
She said: “The honours system is a very precious way of rewarding people for their contribution to Britain.
“But I am afraid Jimmy Savile's alleged crimes have outweighed his charity work.
“I think there is so much compelling evidence against Jimmy Savile.”
She is latest to call for the honour to be removed. Already child welfare charities such as the NSPCC and campaigners including Dr Sara Payne MBE, whose daughter was killed by paedophile Roy Whiting.
The presenter praised the “extremely courageous survivors” of Savile's abuse, who had come forward to tell their stories who may feel that the honour was “a slap in the face”.
She called on the Forfeiture Committee, who decide on stripping people of honours, to take the situation “very seriously”.
“I am sure they will be aware of the danger of inaction,” she added.
“But if his honour is removed it has to be done properly, on evidence, and in a way that is recognised as fair and just.”
Mrs Rantzen has spoken previously on how she believes BBC staff blocked their ears to gossip that DJ Jimmy Savile sexually abused girls.
Her latest comments come as Savile's family will today remove his elaborate triple headstone in Scarborough that was unveiled last month.
Police today say they pursuing are “120 lines of inquiry”.