An investigation has been ordered by the BBC’s new director-general, George Entwistle, who has promised the broadcasting corporation will look into claims that Jimmy Savile sexually abused teenage girls.

Entwistle has apologised on behalf of the BBC after six women appeared in an ITV documentary, claiming they has been sexually abused by Savile as young girls. More than 40 women have now spoken out, saying they were similarly abused by the DJ and TV show host.

Prime minister David Cameron has demanded that the allegations should be thoroughly investigated.

The Guardian is reporting that leading children’s charity the NSPCC would back the removal of Sir Jimmy Savile’s knighthood. A spokesman for the organisation said: “It’s clear he was not the man people thought they knew when he was knighted.”

The legal system does not currently allow for knighthoods to be posthumously removed, but if there is a public outcry, it has been suggested that an exception might be made.

Charities founded by Savile are likely to drop the name of the disgraced star.

Trustees for the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust and Jimmy Savile Stoke Mandeville Hospital Charitable Trust have revealed plans to give away money to sex abuse victims.

Dr Roger Bodley, a trustee of the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust and Jimmy Savile Stoke Mandeville Hospital Charitable Trust, told the Sunday Times: “We will be meeting soon to discuss how to best use the funds that remain at our disposal.

“We are actively looking at supporting, among others, charities that work with survivors of sexual abuse.”