Some would say that Sir Jimmy Savile always had a whiff of the unsavory about him. Before his death in 2011, there were plenty of rumors doing the rounds of the olde jingle-jangle jewelry master’s sexual peccadilloes, of which the most vicious was the allegation our sainted Jim enjoyed sexual congress with corpses at a local hospital. I first heard that story when I was at school in the 1970s, so you can imagine how ingrained these rumors became over the years.
Another, was Sir Jimmy’s alleged sexual shenanigans at various hospital locations throughout the U.K., the only consistent here was that the location changed and the depravity deepened with every re-telling.
What was never clear was why if these rumors had even a soupcon of fact they were never investigated by some tabloid journalist or ambitious Lestarde, who planned to put the cuffs on Sir Jim. Which is what one would expect, considering such high profile cases involving Gary Glitter, Jonathan King and even The Who’s Pete Townshend, over his dubious internet activity.
Which is why this week, I was surprised to hear that an unlikely source had come forward with allegations that Sir Jimmy had sex with under age girls during the 1970s. The source was the over sixties magazine, The Oldie, edited by former Private Eye chief Richard Ingrams.
The Oldie is usually filled with the chattering of baby boomers sharing tips on pensions, retirement plans, holidays, reports of memorial services and memories of the 1940s to 1960s when everything was hunky-dory with the world. It is not the kind of publication one would expect to find serious child sex allegations about popular TV celebrities. However, this week, Miles Goslett has done just that in his article, “Savile row”.
Goslett investigates why the BBC allegedly dropped a news report (for their current affairs show Newsnight), “investigating allegations of sexual abuse made against its long-serving employee Jimmy Savile?” Goslett explains that before Christmas the BBC broadcast two tribute programmes (one on TV, one on radio) that celebrated Savile’s life and career.
...No mention was made of the unsavoury rumours about Savile’s private life which had persisted throughout his career.
Before the BBC’s tributes were aired, however, journalists on the BBC2 programme Newsnight had been investigating the datk side of the apparently saintly entertainer. Their enquiries centred around Savile’s regular visits during the 1970s to Duncroft, an approved local authority school for emotional disturbed girls aged between 13 and 18 in Staines, Surrey, which closed in 1980. It emerged that in 2007 Surrey Police and the Crown Prosecution Service had investigated a historic complaint that Savile had abused girls at the school but no action had been take.
Newsnight tracked down several ex-Duncroft pupils, now middle-aged women, who confirmed that Savile had molested them when they were aged 14 or 15. At least one woman gave an on-camera, on-the-record interview to Newsnight about the abuse she had suffered.
As Goslett goes on to say, this was a coup by any standard. However, prior to the story being broadcast the story was dropped.
More on the allegations against Savile and the whole of Miles Goslett’s article, after the jump…