Accused of preying on girls and women ... Jimmy Savile British with singer Vera Lynn. Photo: AP
Lawyers for 31 alleged victims of sex abuse by late television presenter Jimmy Savile say they have launched legal action against the star's estate and the BBC.
Solicitor Alan Collins confirmed to AFP that a writ has been issued at the High Court in London in relation to alleged abuse by the BBC entertainer, who died in 2011 aged 84.
"The purpose of issuing the writ is to protect our clients' position and to seek management directions from the court to ensure the claims are administered as efficiently as possible," he said.
"At this stage we are unable to expand in detail on the nature of the cases or the allegations that have been made, which range in seriousness from inappropriate behaviour to serious sexual abuse."
The number of alleged victims his legal firm was in contact with "grows on a daily basis", Collins said.
Savile was a hugely popular but eccentric figure, famed for his shock of white hair, tracksuits and chunky gold jewellery, but since his death his reputation has been destroyed by revelations that he abused hundreds of children and women.
British police said last month in a report into his activities that Savile "groomed the nation" over six decades, hiding behind his fame to assault girls, boys and adult women on BBC premises and in schools and hospitals.
The publicly-funded BBC made Savile one of its biggest stars in the 1970s and 1980s as presenter of BBC TV's Top of the Pops chart show and children's program Jim'll Fix It.
The revelations about the abuse by Savile threw the BBC into crisis.
The broadcaster has commissioned an independent investigation into the allegations.
In December the BBC also published a critical review into the decision by its flagship current affairs program Newsnight to drop a report into the alleged abuse following Savile's death.
The presenter's estate, worth a reported STG4.3 million ($6.57 million), was frozen in November in the wake of the allegations.