We now know that murderous child-rapist Jimmy Savile was living a lie.
He managed to hoodwink the British public for over 50 years into believing he was a charitable fun-loving DJ and national treasure. Only now are details emerging of the true level of his filth and depravity, this despite many allegations being made over the years, all of which were hushed-up by the police and the paedophilic BBC.
A charade of this scale could only have taken place with protection from the very highest echelons of the British Establishment including the Royals, Number 10 and the Intelligence services. Rather than distancing themselves from Savile, the Royal family actually threw all manner of honours and accolades his way, suggesting they saw no wrong in his child-raping activities. To this day they’ve refused to withdraw his OBE or KCSG. Does that in itself not speak volumes?
In 2002, Christine Smith interviewed Savile for the Mirror and managed to capture some sense of his twisted and disturbed world with references to sexual experiences at the age of 5, an obsession with his mother’s clothing, his apparent hatred of children and a sick joke about a body in his cupboard:
” The voice is familiar. “Massage Parlour,” it booms over the intercom as I stand outside a non-descript block of flats in Leeds. It’s Sir Jimmy Savile , who I am shocked to discover actually lives here.
He invites me up to his penthouse suite, perched on the top of a white eight-storey building that looks like a 1960s Eastern Europe hell-hole.
But once Jim fixes it for me to enter his home I am transported into another world. Not one I want to be in. I’ve landed on Planet Savile and this is a place where no-one can hear you scream.
I don’t claim to be a style queen. Nor am I an expert on interior decor. But what a disaster! Red walls, blue carpet, white leather sofas, a false arm hanging from an MFI cupboard and a green plastic frog which, Jim insists, guards his apartment.
Who from, I can’t imagine. This is a place that would never need a burglar alarm. Any self-respecting thief would leave the moment he cased the lurid joint.
Sir Jimmy is a phenomenon. Forty years in the public eye and not a single day when he wasn’t weird as hell. Why he achieved such popularity remains a mystery. Perhaps it’s because he’s seen a lot of life. No doubt about it, the guy’s been around.
Miner, wrestler, racing cyclist, dance hall manager, marathon man, Britain’s first DJ, Mensa member, Top of the Pops presenter and the fixer of all the life-long dreams a BBC budget could possibly accommodate.
Watching Jim’ll Fix It as a kid I always thought: “Why is the sum total of this person’s ambitions to be a London bus driver?”
But in those days the Beeb was nothing if not cheap. And it fostered the career of a strange man who would sit in a big armchair wearing gold tracksuits while making Tarzan noises.
So I’m rather pleased to discover that at least the man himself realises he’s a little bizarre.
“I am odd,” says Sir Jimmy, “I am unusual. There are 26million people in this country. Ninety nine point nine per cent of them have planned their lives. And I never did. So I must be odd.”
I let it pass that there are in fact 60million in this country. Perhaps old Jim’s referring to the population when he was born many, many years ago. After telling me he’s odd, astonishingly, he adds: “I’ve never admitted this before.”
Sir Jimmy is talking as he chomps on one of his trademark Cuban cigars. His appalling thin white mullet just about makes it to his shoulders before the split ends run out of steam.
A slave to all that is old-fashioned, it’s clear that this Savile has never been to Savile Row.
He is wearing about five tonnes of chunky gold jewellery, fluorescent yellow trainers, a tight see-through vest, massive dark sunglasses and black tracksuit bottoms.
At least his outfit goes with his flat. Jim always wears a tracksuit. Even in bed. Sometimes he wears the same one for a week. Ugh! Doesn’t he smell?
“No one is here,” says Sir Jimmy. “So it doesn’t matter. I could never live with anyone.”
I sense this dovetails nicely with what the rest of the world would think about living with him. The veteran 75-year-old star has never married, nor has he ever had a girlfriend. Jimmy is obviously not gay. So I ask if he is celibate.
“No, I have dabbled,” he says. “Here, there and everywhere – but not at anybody’s expense. When? Since I was five.”
Five! Who does he think he’s kidding. Am I supposed to believe this rubbish?
“I fall in love three times a day,” he continues. “I go to a cafe, see a waitress and fall for her.
“But I have not missed out. When I was young, I saw people getting excited when they got married, then two years later they wanted to kill each other. That wasn’t for me.
“As I got older I also realised that if I saw a woman in Plymouth, I could not be faithful to her if I then went off to London and spotted another woman.” Nice guy.
I feign surprise that he has never dated. In fact, it’s remarkably easy to work out why. But Jim shrugs his podgy bare shoulders.
Again, I do not fall over in shock when he confesses he has no close friends. “I am a bit of a loner,” he says. “And I never ring anyone up to go out.
“I wait for them to call. What if I rang a girl and she wanted to go out? She may have met Mr Right.”
Pause. “Odd,” he says again, warming to his theme. “That’s what I am.” Yes, that’s what he is. He lights another cigar. “Look, there is no living thing in my flat,” he says, presumably classifying himself as the undead.
“No plants, no dog, no cat, no children. Why not? I don’t want to have to bleeding look after them.”
Sir Jimmy will not allow children in his flat. “They will meddle with things, pull things over,” he says. “I would rather not have them round. I have no paternal desire. Nor will I let them in my car. Odd, I know. But I think it’s a healthy attitude.”
If he hates children, how did he host a show making kids’ dreams come true for 20 years?
“Jim’ll Fix It was for adults,” he insists. “But kids took it over. Most requests were either from children or elderly people.”
I tell him I once wrote in to the programme but never got a reply.
“Your request must have been rubbish then,” he says simply. “We got 20,000 letters a week.”
More likely my request would have been too expensive. I wanted to go the Taj Mahal which, as soon as they realised wasn’t the local BBC curry house, would have been way out of the Jim’ll Fix It league.
One of the reasons for my visit is to find out what Sir Jimmy thinks of Louis Theroux.
A TV programme is being screened next week in which Louis’ victims have a chance to say what they really made of their intrusive interrogator.
“Lovely man,” says Sir Jimmy who got the Theroux treatment last year. “But I don’t know why he picked me. He usually goes for weird people…”
I remind him he is odd. “But not weird,” he says. “That would suggest I indulge in practices which are socially peculiar.”
Spending an afternoon with Sir Jimmy is a sad experience. It’s almost as if he is living in a time warp. He talks repeatedly of how his career is going from strength to strength despite the fact he is a pensioner who is no longer on TV.
Jim’ll Fix It ended in 1993. And he tells me at least three times how he turns down TV jobs every week. But he declines to give details. That’s his style. He delivers a never ending stream of self-aggrandising statements that do not hold water. Not evil lies – just silly childish fibs.
I ask him to name his hero. “Me,” he replies. Yet again, I am not surprised. And his proudest achievement? “Waking up today,” he says.
But what about the knighthood he was awarded in 1990? the 214 marathons he completed? the 107 fights he fought as a wrestler or the pounds 35million he has raised for charity?
“Yes, but waking up means I have made it,” he insists. “A lot of people don’t get to 75.” Give that man a cigar!
HE says he is always busy these day, raising money for his charities or exercising on his running machine. He rarely watches television.
Given he is a multi-millionaire, I ask whether he leads a flash lifestyle. His flat here in Leeds suggests not. My suspicions are right.
With the exception of owning properties in Scarborough, London, Bournemouth, Glencoe – as well as a Rolls-Royce – Sir Jimmy says he rarely spends money. “My flats are cheaper than having a wife anyway,” he quips. “But it is nice to be loaded so I can choose exactly what I want to do.
“I have paid pounds 18million in tax. And that entitles me to a pension. Wonderful.” He recalls the first day he received a pension 10 years ago.
“For the first time in my life, I bought some alcohol,” he remembers, “It was nice to feel light headed. The next day I had a bad headache. I realised I wasn’t missing anything.”
He never votes either. He probably lost his natural political hero when Screaming Lord Sutch died.
“I am flying at Concorde level,” he says. “Everybody else is at Boeing 747 level. But on my level politics does not affect me. I am my own person.”
He offers me a cup of tea. It’s lunch time but no food is offered. I am relieved. Sir Jimmy has no cooker.
Instead, he relies on doggy bags from restaurants. In his fridge are two slices of roast kangaroo he brought home from a London restaurant two days ago. Sir Jimmy explains he needs little food because he is an athlete. He notices my bemused expression. “Odd,” he says smiling. Too right, buster.
We chat about his Catholic upbringing. Born in 1926 in Leeds, the youngest of seven. One brother and a sister are still alive. Much has been written about the close relationship with his mother, Agnes, who he still refers to as the Duchess.
He lived with her until she died in 1973. He still talks to her daily and keeps her clothes in a wardrobe. They are dry-cleaned every year to stop them rotting. He cannot understand why I view this is as strange.
I ask why he rarely mentions his dad, Vince, who died when Sir Jimmy was 27. “Dad was very kind,” he says. “But I don’t mention him because he pegged it before I was famous.”
Exhausted, I make my excuses and leave. Before I do, he insists I look at the false arm hanging out of his cupboard. “There is a body in there,” he jokes as I fail to laugh.
How’s about that then?”