BBC presenter makes striking claims in an EXCLUSIVE Tab interview.

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The Jimmy Savile cover-up could have been a government conspiracy, according to BBC presenter Bill Oddie.

Oddie, who worked for the BBC at the same time as the alleged paedophile, questioned whether there may be “some sort of censorship committee that we don’t know about who suppresses these things“, highlighting Savile’s relationship with Prince Charles.

Speaking exclusively to TabTV this week before a Union speech, Oddie put forward a scenario where “somebody gets together in a room and says ‘well we all know about Jimmy, but come on he was a friend of prince Charles and it’d look awfully bad on Prince Charles if people started saying “He was a bit of a perv wasn’t he?”’ and somebody decides ‘yes, you’re quite right, we’ll keep it quiet’”

The much-loved birdwatcher also courted controversy by pointing to a “naive groupie scene” around Savile.

“The thing I will say that hasn’t been said very much, at least in the things I’ve read, is that that was a time in history and television and radio and the live shows and so on and so forth where the sort of naïve groupie scene… there were people who just hung around after gigs and tried to get to the stars or the DsS.”

His comments risk angering a public already disgusted by Savile’s dark past. However, Oddie was quick to point out that this was “not a mitigating circumstance” in the Savile case.

Oddie was also insistent that there was no way that the Beeb could have been unaware of the incident.  “The idea,” he explains, “that youngsters were a bit of a prey, everybody knew that, which is why it’s so extraordinary that there’s any sort of mystery. When the ex-head of the BBC Mark Thompson the other week said ‘it’s the first I’ve ever heard of it’ I thought, “Ha, head of BBC and you don’t know that, don’t be ridiculous”. That’s absolute nonsense.”

Savile, who died in October 2011, has been at the centre of a scandal in which he is alleged to have molested children throughout his BBC career.

A longer interview with Oddie, in which he discusses Footlights, depression and owls, will be on The Tab later today.

Video Filmed for TabTV by Max Toomey and Poppy Damon with Veronica Nitu.