JIMMY Savile "would gratify himself sexually on BBC premises whenever the opportunity arose" and staff missed numerous opportunities to stop him, the long-awaited report into the scandal has found.

Dame Janet Smith's review found there was a culture of "reverence and fear" towards celebrities at the corporation and that "an atmosphere of fear still exists today in the BBC".

Savile's sexual abuse spread to Wirral in the 1960s when he molested a young patient at the former St Catherine's Hospital in Birkenhead.

In 2014, an investigation by Wirral Community NHS Trust found the 14-year-old was among the victims of the disgraced star.

Dame Janet's report says when a junior female employee at Television Centre complained to her supervisor that she had been sexually assaulted by Savile, she was told "keep your mouth shut, he is a VIP", the report found.

Girls who dared to complain about being sexually assaulted were regarded as "a nuisance" and their claims not properly dealt with.

BBC staff missed a string of opportunities dating back to the late 1960s to stop Savile, who died in October 2011 aged 84 never having been brought to justice for his crimes and is now believed to be one of Britain's most prolific sex offenders.

Dame Janet found a number of BBC staff were aware of Savile's offending, but she cleared the broadcaster as a corporate body of knowing about it.

Her report states: "In summary, my conclusion is that certain junior and middle-ranking individuals were aware of Savile's inappropriate sexual conduct in connection with his work for the BBC.

"However, I have found no evidence that the BBC, as a corporate body, was aware of Savile's inappropriate sexual conduct in connection with his work for the BBC."

Dame Janet's review looks at the culture and practices at the corporation during the years that Savile and fellow shamed broadcaster Stuart Hall, who has been in prison for sex attacks on under-age girls, worked there.

Savile raped and sexually assaulted 72 people, male and female, in connection with his work at the BBC dating back to 1959, wh ile 21 people fell victim to Hall, 86, whose offending dates back to the 1960s, a report by Dame Linda Dobbs found.

Dame Janet said "Savile and Hall make very sorry reading for the BBC" and that the pair used their fame and charisma to prey on their mainly young victims.

Her report states: "Savile would gratify himself sexually on BBC premises whenever the opportunity arose and I heard of incidents which took place in virtually every one of the BBC premises at which he worked."

This included the BBC Theatre at Shepherd's Bush where Jim'll Fix It and Clunk Click were filmed, Television Centre where Top Of The Pops was filmed, and Broadcasting House.

Eight complaints about Savile's behaviour were made to BBC staff as early as the late 1960s, but each time they were brushed off or not escalated up the chain of command.

Dame Janet said there was a culture of not reporting complaints at the BBC from the 1970s right the way through to the 1990s, and a fear of saying anything that might "rock the boat".

She warned there was a particular fear of whistleblowing at the corporation and "I was told that an atmosphere of fear still exists today in the BBC".

She added: "There was a feeling of reverence for them and a fear that, if a star were crossed, he or she might leave the BBC."

She criticised the hierarchy, rivalry and "macho culture" in parts of the BBC, and its complaints procedures.

And she said he could not rule out the possibility that "a predatory child abuser could be lurking in the BBC even today."

Savile: St Catherine's connection:

The St Catherine's patient, who originally reported the incident to the Metropolitan Police in November 2012 as part of Operation Yewtree, was aged 14 when the abuse happened in 1964.

She said Savile jumped into bed with her on a ward and touched the top of her thigh and her bottom.

The abuse came to light in June, 2014, when it was disclosed that police reported a crime of “sexual touching” and Wirral’s NHS Trust commissioned an independent investigation.

Wirral NHS trust expressed "shock" at the revelations and said staff and management had been unaware of the allegations.

Simon Gilby, then chief executive of Wirral Community NHS Trust, said at the time:  "It is completely unacceptable that it should have been allowed to happen and I apologise on behalf of the NHS that it was.

"Our investigation sought to establish as far as possible what happened.

"Importantly it has also been used to provide every assurance that something similar could not happen today, 50 years later.”

St Catherine’s Hospital was closed and demolished in 2012 before being replaced by a new state-of-the-art centre in 2013.

Savile and Merseyside Police:

In March, 2013, Merseyside Police defended the way it had handled an allegation of sex abuse by Savile after criticism from watchdogs Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. 

The manner in which the complaint had been investigated was among several highlighted in the publication of a far-reaching review by HMIC.

The report - entitled "Mistakes Were Made" - expressed concern that four victims tried unsuccessfully to report crimes to forces in Cheshire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire and the then Royal Ulster Constabulary.

The HMIC later amended its the report to read the following: "Merseyside Police confirmed that no crimes took place in their force area, and that this complaint was referred on appropriately."

A Merseyside Police spokeswoman explained at the time: "We have researched this part of the report and can now say with complete confidence that a report received by this force was dealt with appropriately and not as suggested within the HMIC report.

"We can confirm that a 19-year-old woman made a complaint of historic sexual abuse to Merseyside Police in 1986.

"Officers took details of the complaint, which contained allegations of historic sexual abuse, which had not taken place in Merseyside.

"The Crown Prosecution Service looked at the case and according to the recollection of the victim...there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution."