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|“||We live in a very funny world. And it's easier for me, as a single man, to say 'I don't like children', because that puts a lot of salacious tabloid people off the hunt.||„|
|~ Jimmy Savile to Louis Theroux on the peadophilia charges|
Sir James Wilson Vincent "Jimmy" Savile (October 31st, 1926 – October 29th, 2011) was an English DJ, television and radio personality who hosted BBC shows including Top of the Pops and Jim'll Fix It. He raised an estimated £40 million for charities; during his lifetime, Savile was widely praised for his personal qualities and as a fund-raiser. After his death, hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse were made against him, leading the police to conclude that he had been a predatory sex offender and possibly one of Britain's most prolific.There had been allegations during his lifetime, but they were dismissed and accusers ignored or disbelieved. Savile took legal action against some accusers.
As a teenager during the World War II, Savile worked in coal mines as a Bevin Boy and reportedly sustained spinal injuries. He began a career playing records in, and later managing, dance halls, and was said to have been the first disc jockey to use twin turntables to keep music in constant play. In his twenties, he was a professional wrestler, and he continued running marathons until his late seventies. His media career started as a disc jockey at Radio Luxembourg in 1958 and on Tyne Tees Television in 1960, and he developed a reputation for eccentricity and flamboyance. At the BBC, he presented the first edition of Top of the Pops in 1964 and broadcast on Radio 1 from 1968. From 1975 until 1994, he presented Jim'll Fix It, an early Saturday evening television programme in which he arranged for the wishes of viewers, mainly children, to come true.
During his lifetime, he was known for fund-raising and supporting charities and hospitals, in particular Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire. In 2009, he was described by The Guardian as a "prodigious philanthropist" and was honoured for his charity work. He was awarded the OBE in 1971 and was knighted in 1990. In 2006, he introduced the last edition of Top of the Pops.
In October 2012, almost a year after his death, an ITV documentary examined claims of sexual abuse by Savile. This led to extensive media coverage and a substantial and rapidly growing body of witness statements and sexual abuse claims, including accusations against public bodies for covering up or failure of duty. Scotland Yard launched a criminal investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse by Savile spanning six decades, describing him as a "predatory sex offender", and later stated that they were pursuing more than 400 lines of inquiry based on the testimony of 300 potential victims via 14 police forces across the UK. By late October 2012, the scandal had resulted in inquiries or reviews at the BBC, within the National Health Service, the Crown Prosecution Service, and the Department of Health. In June 2014, investigations into Savile's activities at 28 NHS hospitals, including Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, concluded that he had sexually assaulted staff and patients aged between 5 and 75 over several decades.
Savile, born at Consort Terrace, in the Burley area of Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, was the youngest of seven children (his elder siblings were Mary, Marjory, Vincent, John, Joan, and Christina) in a Roman Catholic family. His parents were Vincent Joseph Marie Savile (1886–1953), a bookmaker's clerk and insurance agent, and his wife, Agnes Monica Kelly (1886–1972). His paternal grandmother was Scottish.
Savile's mother believed he owed his life to the intercession of the Venerable Margaret Sinclair, a Scottish nun, after he recovered quickly from illness, possibly pneumonia, at the age of two when his mother prayed at Leeds Cathedral after picking up a pamphlet about Sinclair. Savile went to St Anne's Roman Catholic School in Leeds. After leaving school at the age of 14 he worked in an office. At the age of 18 during the Second World War he was conscripted to work as a Bevin Boy and worked in coal mines, where he reportedly suffered spinal injuries from a shot-firer's explosion, and he spent a long period recuperating. Following his colliery work, Savile became a scrap metal dealer. Savile started playing records in dance halls in the early 1940s, and claimed to be the first DJ. According to his autobiography, he was the first to use two turntables and a microphone at the Grand Records Ball at the Guardbridge Hotel in 1947, although his claim to have been the first is disputed; twin turntables were illustrated in the BBC Handbook in 1929 and advertised for sale in Gramophone magazine in 1931.
Savile's radio career began as a DJ at Radio Luxembourg from 1958 to 1968. By 1968 he presented six programmes a week, and his Saturday show reached six million listeners.
In terms of recognition, he was one of the leading DJs in Britain by the early 1960s. In 1968, he joined Radio 1, where he presented Savile's Travels, a weekly programme broadcast on Sundays in which he travelled around the UK talking to members of the public. From 1969 to 1973 he fronted Speakeasy, a discussion programme for teenagers. On Radio 1 he presented the Sunday lunchtime show Jimmy Savile's Old Record Club, playing chart Top 10s from years gone by. It was the first show to feature old charts and Savile used a "points system" in an imaginary quiz with the audience to guess the names of the song and artist. It began in 1973 as The Double Top Ten Show, and ended in 1987 as The Triple Top Ten Show when he left Radio 1 after 19 years. He presented The Vintage Chart Show, playing top tens from 1957 to 1987, on the BBC World Service from March 1987 until October 1989.
From March 1989 to August 1997 he broadcast on various stations around the UK (mostly taking the Gold format, such as the West Midlands' Xtra AM and the Classic Gold network in Yorkshire) where he revived his Radio 1 shows. In 1994, satirist Chris Morris gave a fake obituary on BBC Radio 1, saying that Savile had collapsed and died, which allegedly drew threats of legal action from Savile and forced an apology from Morris. On 25 December 2005, and 1 January 2007, he presented shows on the Real Radio network. The Christmas 2005 show counted down the festive Top 10s of 10, 20 and 30 years previously, while the New Year 2007 show (also taken by Century Radio following its acquisition by GMG) featured Savile recounting anecdotes from his past and playing associated records, mostly from the 1960s and some from the 1970s.
Savile's first television role was as a presenter of Tyne Tees Television's music programme Young at Heart, which aired from May 1960. Although the show was broadcast in black and white, Savile dyed his hair a different colour every week. On New Year's Day 1964, he presented the first edition of the BBC music chart television programme Top of the Pops from a television studio in a converted church in Dickenson Road, Rusholme, Manchester. On 30 July 2006, he co-hosted the final weekly edition, ending it with the words "It's number one, it's still Top of the Pops", before turning off the studio lights after the closing credits. When interviewed by the BBC on 20 November 2008 and asked about the revival of Top of the Pops for a Christmas comeback, he said he would welcome a "cameo role" in the programme.
In the early 1960s, Savile co-hosted (with Pete Murray) the televised New Musical Express Poll Winners' Concert, held annually at the Empire Pool in Wembley, with acts such as the Beatles, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, Joe Brown and the Bruvvers, the Who, and many others. On 31 December 1969, he hosted the BBC/ZDF co-production Pop Go the Sixties, shown across Western Europe, celebrating the hits of the decade. Savile presented a series of Public Information Films promoting road safety, notably "Clunk Click Every Trip", which promoted the use of seatbelts, the clunk representing the sound of the door and the click the sound of the seatbelt fastening. It led to Savile's Saturday-night chat/variety show from 1973 on BBC1 entitled Clunk, Click, which in 1974 featured the UK heats of the Eurovision Song Contest featuring Olivia Newton-John. After two series, Clunk, Click was replaced by Jim'll Fix It, which he presented from 1975 to 1994. Savile won an award from Mary Whitehouse's National Viewers' and Listeners' Association in 1977 for his "wholesome family entertainment".
He fronted a long-running series of advertisements in the early 1980s for British Rail's InterCity 125, in which he declared "This is the age of the train". Savile was twice the subject of the Thames Television series This Is Your Life in January 1970 with Eamonn Andrews and again in December 1990 with Michael Aspel. In an interview by Dr Anthony Clare for the radio series In the Psychiatrist's Chair in 1991, Savile appeared to be "a man without feelings". "There is something chilling about this 20th-century 'saint'", Clare concluded in 1992 in his introduction to the published transcript of this interview. Andrew Neil interviewed him for the TV series Is This Your Life? in 1995 where Savile "used a banana to avoid discussing his personal life". In 1999, he appeared as a panellist in Have I Got News for You.
In April 2000, he was the subject of a documentary by Louis Theroux, in the When Louis Met... series, in which Theroux accompanied British celebrities going about their daily business and interviewed them about their lives and experiences. In the documentary, Savile confided "that he used to beat people up and lock them in a basement during his career as a nightclub manager". When Theroux challenged Savile about rumours of paedophilia over a decade ago, Savile said: “We live in a very funny world. And it's easier for me, as a single man, to say 'I don't like children', because that puts a lot of salacious tabloid people off the hunt. Savile visited the Celebrity Big Brother house on 14 and 15 January 2006 (in series 4) and "fixed it" for some housemates to have their wishes granted; Pete Burns received a message from his boyfriend, Michael, and Lynn, his ex-wife, while Dennis Rodman traded Savile's offering for a supply of cigarettes for the other housemates. In 2007, Savile returned to television with Jim'll Fix It Strikes Again showing some of the most popular fix-its, recreating them with the same people, and making new dreams come true.
Fundraising, sponsorship and voluntary work
Savile is estimated to have raised £40 million for charity. One cause for which he raised money was Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where he volunteered for many years as a porter. He raised money for the Spinal Unit, NSIC (National Spinal Injuries Centre), and St Francis Ward – a ward for children and teens with spinal cord injuries. Savile also volunteered at Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor Hospital. In August 1988, he was appointed by junior health minister Edwina Currie chair of an interim task force overseeing the management of Broadmoor Hospital, after its board members had been suspended. Savile had his own room at both Stoke Mandeville and Broadmoor. In 1989, Savile started legal proceedings against News Group Newspapers after the News of the World published an article, in January 1988, suggesting he had been in a position to secure the release of patients from Broadmoor who were considered "dangerous". Savile won on 11 July 1989; News Group paid his legal costs, and he received an apology from editors Kelvin MacKenzie and Patsy Chapman. In 2012, it was reported that Savile had sexually abused vulnerable patients at the hospitals.
From 1974 to 1988, Savile was the honorary president of Phab (Physically Handicapped in the Able Bodied community). He sponsored medical students performing undergraduate research in the Leeds University Research Enterprise scholarship scheme, donating more than £60,000 every year. In 2010, the scheme was given a commitment of £500,000 over the following five years. Following Savile's death in October 2011, it was confirmed that a bequest had been made to allow continued support for the programme.
Savile was a participant in marathons (many for Phab, including its annual half marathon around Hyde Park, London). He also cycled from Land's End to John o'Groats in 10 days for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and ran in the Scottish People's Marathon. It was reported that he completed the London Marathon at the age of 79; rumours that he was driven round in a lead vehicle as an "observer", were denied by marathon officials.
Savile set up two charities, the Jimmy Savile Stoke Mandeville Hospital Trust in 1981, and the Leeds-based Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust in 1984. During the sexual abuse scandal in October 2012 the charities announced that they would distribute their funds, of £1.7 million and £3.7 million respectively, among other charities and then close down. He also raised money for several Jewish charities.
Death and sex scandal
|“||Savile was a callous, opportunistic, wicked predator who abused and raped individuals, many of them patients and young people, who expected and had a right to expect to be safe. His actions span five decades -- from the 1960s to 2010. As a nation at that time we held Savile in our affection as a somewhat eccentric national treasure with a strong commitment to charitable causes. Today's reports show that in reality he was a sickening and prolific sexual abuser who repeatedly exploited the trust of a nation for his own vile purposes.||„|
|~ Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health|
Savile was found dead at his home in Roundhay on 29 October 2011, two days before his 85th birthday. He had been in hospital with pneumonia, and his death was not suspicious. Immediately after Savile's death, the BBC's Newsnight programme began an investigation into reports that he was a sexual abuser. Meirion Jones and Liz MacKean interviewed one victim on camera and others agreed to have their stories told. The interviewees alleged abuse at Duncroft approved school for girls in Staines, Stoke Mandeville Hospital and the BBC. The item was scheduled for broadcast in Newsnight on 7 December 2011, but was never shown; the BBC broadcast tributes to Savile at Christmas 2011. Newsnight also discovered that Surrey Police had investigated allegations of abuse against Savile. In December 2012, a review led by Nick Pollard of the BBC's handling of the issue described the decision not to broadcast the Newsnight investigation as "flawed". The review said that Jones and MacKean had found "cogent evidence" that Savile was an abuser. George Entwistle – at that time the Director of BBC Vision – who had been told about the plan to broadcast the Newsnight item, was described by the review as "unnecessarily cautious, and an opportunity was lost". There was no public mention of the Newsnight investigation into Savile at the time but in early 2012, several newspapers reported that the BBC had investigated but not broadcast (its report of) allegations of sexual abuse immediately after his death. The Oldie alleged there had been a cover-up by the BBC. On 28 September 2012, almost a year after his death, ITV said it would broadcast a documentary as part of its Exposure series, The Other Side of Jimmy Savile. The documentary, presented by Mark Williams-Thomas, a consultant on the original Newsnight investigation, revealed claims by up to 10 women, including one aged under 14 at the time, that they had been molested or raped by Savile during the 1960s and 1970s. The announcement attracted national attention, and more reports and claims of abuse against him accumulated. The documentary was broadcast on 3 October. The next day, the Metropolitan Police said the Child Abuse Investigation Command would assess the allegations.
The developing scandal led to inquiries into practices at the BBC and the National Health Service. It was alleged that rumours of Savile's activities had circulated at the BBC in the 1960s and 1970s, but no action had been taken. The Director-General of the BBC, George Entwistle, apologised for what had happened, and on 16 October 2012 appointed former High Court judge Dame Janet Smith to review the culture and practices of the BBC during the time Savile worked there; and Nick Pollard, a former Sky News executive, was appointed to look at why the Newsnight investigation into Savile's activities was dropped shortly before transmission in December 2011. By 19 October 2012, police were pursuing 400 lines of inquiry based on testimony from 200 witnesses via 14 police forces across the UK. They described the alleged abuse as "on an unprecedented scale", and the number of potential victims as "staggering". Investigations codenamed Operation Yewtree were opened to identify criminal conduct related to Savile's activities by the Metropolitan Police, and to review the 2009 decision by the Crown Prosecution Service to drop a prosecution as "unlikely to succeed". By 25 October, police reported the number of possible victims was approaching 300. On 22 October 2012, the BBC programme Panorama broadcast an investigation into Newsnight and found evidence suggesting "senior manager" pressure; on the same day Newsnight editor Peter Rippon "stepped down" with immediate effect.
The Department of Health appointed former barrister Kate Lampard to chair and oversee its investigations into Savile's activities at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Leeds General Infirmary, Broadmoor Hospital and other hospitals and facilities in England. On 12 November 2012, the Metropolitan Police announced the scale of sexual allegations reported against Savile was "unprecedented" in Britain: a total of 450 alleged victims had contacted the police in the ten weeks since the investigation was launched. Officers recorded 199 crimes in 17 police force areas in which Savile was a suspect, among them 31 allegations of rape in seven force areas. Analysis of the report showed 82% of those who came forward to report abuse were female and 80% were children or young people at the time of the incidents. One former Broadmoor nurse claimed that Savile had said that he engaged in necrophiliac acts with corpses in their mortuary in Leeds; Savile was friends with the chief mortician, who gave him near-unrestricted access. Exposure Update: The Jimmy Savile Investigation was shown on ITV on 21 November 2012. In March 2013 Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary reported that 214 of the complaints that had been made against Savile after his death would have been criminal offences if they had been reported at the time. Sixteen victims reported being raped by Savile when they were under 16 (the age of heterosexual consent in England) and four of those had been under the age of 10. Thirteen others reported serious sexual assaults by Savile, including four who had been under 10 years old. Another ten victims reported being raped by Savile after the age of 16.
Former professional wrestler Adrian Street described in a November 2013 interview how "Savile used to go on and on about the young girls who’d wait in line for him outside his dressing room ... He'd pick the ones he wanted and say to the rest, 'Unlucky, come back again tomorrow night'." Savile, who cultivated a "tough guy" image promoted by his entourage, was hit with real blows during a 1971 bout with Street, who commented that had he "known then the full extent of what I know about [Savile] now, I’d have given him an even bigger hiding – were that physically possible." During the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in March 2019, it was reported that Robert Armstrong, the head of the Honours Committee, had resisted attempts by Margaret Thatcher to award Savile a knighthood in the 1980s, due to concerns about his private life. An anonymous letter received by the committee in 1998 said that "reports of a paedophilia nature" could emerge about Savile.
- It is often said that he was donating money to charitable causes in order to get away with his horrific sex crimes.
- He was once a former wrestler which is not as well-known as some of his other aspects.
- He was well-known to have a hatred for children despite having a show called Jim'll Fix It and it was said that children on the show weren't very fond of him.
- He was described as cold, vindictive, and unfriendly to people who worked with him long before his sex crimes came to light in spite of his family-friendly persona.
- He was described by psychologists as having Dark Triad personality characteristics, which include psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism.
- Jim'll Fix It producer Roger Ordish told the staff on the show not to leave Jimmy Savile alone with children due to the fact that his presence could be unnerving to some children. He also believed Jimmy Savile should not have gotten a children's show.
- He even groped a young woman named Sylvia Edwards on live TV on Top of the Pops and it was reported that the BBC staff told her to get lost when she complained about it to them.
- He was given free access to walk around Stoke Mandeville Hospital visiting children due to having a strong working relationship as well being a public fundraiser.
- He also had eyes from dead bodies and used then as jewelry.
- He was well-known to have a strong relationship with the British royal family and UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
- When it was revealed that he was a prolific sexual abuser, many honours were stripped, charities named after him were closed down, and other memorials were removed.
- He was known to have a close attachment to his mother Agnes, who he affectionately called "The Duchess', and he lived with her until her death in 1972. After she died, he sat beside her open casket for 5 days and openly showed emotion at her funeral; he would also have her room arranged the way it was when she was alive for years. In actuality, it was possible Agnes wasn't very fond of her son and never really praised him for his accomplishments; she may had even suspected her son's sexual crimes and his unhealthy obsession with young children and teenagers.