- Children’s radio presenter referenced by John Simpson
- ‘Uncle Dick’ thought to be pseudonym for ‘Uncle Mac’
- Office of Director General accused of cover-up
With today’s Sun front page following up our coverage of BBC child abuse allegations made by world editor John Simpson, Scrapbook can now reveal the name of the individual to which Simpson was thought to be referring in a 2009 book — Children’s Hour presenter Derek McCulloch.
Ringing a former children’s radio presenter ‘Auntie Gladys’ for comment on the death of a colleague, ‘Gladys’ makes allegations of child abuse against ‘Uncle Dick’:
“Week after week, children from all over the country would win competitions to visit the BBC and meet Uncle Dick. He would welcome them, show them round, give them lunch, and then take them to the Gents and interfere with them.”
‘Auntie Gladys’ and ‘Uncle Dick’ are thought to be pseudonyms for Kathleen Garrsgadden and Derek McCulloch, who were known as ‘Auntie Kathleen’ and ‘Uncle Mac’ to millions of Children’s Hour listeners. McCulloch’s death in June 1967 also coincides with the relevant tenure in a London newsroom described by John Simpson in his book Strange Places, Questionable People.
“If their parents complained afterwards, she said the Director-General’s office would write and say the nation wouldn’t understand such an accusation against a much loved figure.”
While the apparent McCulloch allegations significantly predate those against Jimmy Savile, the former star is still venerated by the BBC. The corporation list a broadcast by the presenter amongst their “greatest moments” and a radio documentary celebrating his achievements was produced in the last few years.
After enquiries from Scrapbook last week, the BBC are searching archives for references to abuse allegations.