John Briggs, 65, a Yorkshire pianist and briefly a television presenter, received the heavy sentence for sexual offences against two music students and three sea cadets. The boys were aged 10 to 15. Briggs filmed some of the offences, between the 1960s and 1993.
The judge condemned police for refusing to listen to one of the complainants in 1993. Briggs, convicted on nine charges, was described as a relentless and systematic abuser of young boys.
The case follows two failed prosecutions against prominent media figures.