The lurid allegations were made on Radio 5 Live by Paul Gambaccini, who started working as a DJ on Radio 1 in 1973.

He told presenter Nicky Campbell he was made aware of the necrophilia claims in the Eighties, adding that the BBC was not the only organisation at fault for failing to expose Savile, reports the London Evening Standard.

Gambaccini said the press was equally to blame and claimed a reporter was heard talking at a wedding 10 years ago about Savile being a necrophiliac. He questioned why newspapers had not then acted.

He said: “The expression I came to associate with Savile’s sexual partners was either one used by production assistants or one I made up to summarise their reports … ‘under-age subnormals’.

“He targeted the institutionalised, the hospitalised – and this was known. Why did Jimmy go to hospitals? That’s where the patients were.”

Campbell said: “That particularly lurid accusation that you have just brought to people’s attention is one that has not been in the public domain.”

Gambaccini agreed and asked “why not?” He then added “Who vetted the knighthood? Coco the clown?”