Like many thousands of others, I was anything but surprised by the recent Jimmy Savile “revelations” – personally, I had long been convinced of the presenter’s profound unwholesomeness ever since reading Irvine Welsh’s 1996 Ecstasy as a teenager, a collection of three mid-length narratives the first of which, “Lorraine Goes to Livingston,” features a character called Freddy Royle, a pedophile, TV presenter and transparent (for want of a better word) homage to Savile. Fiction it may well have been, but I took it very much as fact, which was arguably rather credulous of me, though it looks more and more intuitive with every passing day.
“Freddy Royle had had, by his standards, a tiring day prior to his late afternoon arrival at St. Hubbin’s. He had been in the television studios all morning filming an episode of From Fred With Love. A young boy, whom Fred had sorted out to swim with dolphins at Morecambe’s Marineland, while his grandparents were brought back to the scene of their honeymoon, was all excited in the studio and writhed around in his lap, getting Freddie so aroused and excited that they had to do several takes.”
Due to certain additional aspects of Welsh’s portrait, however, I have continuously expected further revelations regarding Savile, specifically relating to his hospital work. In Welsh’s tale (and I know this detail was consistent with many corresponding rumors about Savile), Royle is a necrophiliac as well as a pederast.
“There was nothing like the sight of a stiff to give Freddy Royle a stiffie.
- Bit bashed about this one, Glen, the path lab technician explained, as he wheeled the body into the hospital mortuary.
- Freddy was finding it hard to maintain steady breathing. He examined the corpse. – She’s bain a roight pretty un n arl, he rasped in his Somerset drawl, - caar accident oi presumes?”
Welsh’s Glen is onto what he considers a good thing with Freddie Royle (whose “Sommerset drawl” is an obvious substitute for Savile’s Yorkshire drone), providing the celebrity donor and volunteer with fresh-ish corpses in exchange for remuneration. While Glen appears to experience some minor moral twinges regarding this undertaking (no pun intended), he assuages them by assuring himself that his own profits are chickenfeed compared to those collected by the hospital trustees.
“Yes, the trustees knew all about Freddy Royle, Glen reflected bitterly. They knew the real secrets of the chat-show host, the authors of several books, including Howzat! – Freddy Royle On Cricket, Freddy Royle’s Somerset, Somerset With a Z: The Wit of the West Country, West Country Walks With Freddy Royle and Freddy Royle’s 101 Magic Party Tricks. Yes, those trustee bastards knew what this distinguished friend, this favorite caring, laconic uncle to the nation did with the stiffs they got in here. The thing was, Freddy brought millions of pounds into the place with his fund-raising activities. This brought kudos to the trustees, and made St Hubbin’s Hospital a flagship for the arm’s-length trusts from the NHS. All they had to do was keep schtumm and indulge Sir Freddy with the odd body.”
I think it’s fair to say that, with Savile (the real-life hospital trustees are another matter – I’m certainly not suggesting anything in that direction), where there’s smoke there’s fire, but it also increasingly looks like common sense that a man who appeared to spend his days working in young people’s television (not to mention his work with various youth charities) so as to simultaneously facilitate and obfuscate his pederasty, would not suddenly, after dark, become the decent and disinterested saint the public habitually imagined him to be, and volunteer as an intern at numerous hospitals - and fundraise for them so extensively - out of the goodness of his heart. No, this was a man who was obviously something of an evil genius when it came to multitasking, and who plotted his entire working existence around the curious and distinctly aberrant tendencies of his libido.
I suppose in this specific area witnesses will be harder to come by (um, no pun intended there either) than in others – as, if Savile was a necrophiliac there would be no victims left to tell the tale, only facilitators, like Welsh’s Glen, who will probably keep their heads down for obvious reasons. Also, I wonder if the mainstream news would consider its teatime audiences ready for a dose of Jimmy Savile Corpse Fucking. It’s certainly inching closer to the territory mind, not least with the broadcasting of the interview with a former patient at Leeds Hospital where Savile volunteered as a porter, who watched him kiss and then molest a brain damaged patient in an opposite bed. In the account it sounds as if this brain-damaged patient was fairly far-gone, and this would certainly give credence to the idea that for Savile, as for Royle, the ideal sexual partner was as far from being conscious as possible.
Of course, if Savile was indeed a necrophiliac, then it raises a fine irony as well as a hint of poetic justice – if anyone’s been posthumously fucked, it’s him…