Saturday, November 26, 2011

In Bed With Jimmy Savile

DJ, marathon man, Top of the Pops presenter and, most famously, fixer. For six decades Jimmy Savile has been an icon of the barmy and bizarre. But is he also an egomaniacal bruiser, as a new documentary suggests? Interview by Simon Hattenstone

Tuesday 11 April 2000The Guardian
'Jimmy Savile? The Jimmy Savile? No. He's not here," says the 7ft giant on the hotel door. Everything's larger than life in Jimmy's world. "I've met Jimmy Savile, and mark my words if he was here you'd know about it. We'd all know about it." The hotel looks as if it closed decades ago, and the giant thunders around the lobby. Wrong hotel? Wrong day? Half an hour later, he returns. "He's in the guest room," he shouts. "Been there all the time." He gives me a look. Sir Jimmy, 73, is lying on the bed decked out in the customary jewels and jingoistic tracksuit. Head back, platinum hair swimming round his shoulders, hyperbolic cigar poking towards heaven. Age has exaggerated his cartoon features - part Worzel Gummidge, part Woody Allen - but he is largely unchanged.
We're here to talk about a documentary Louis Theroux has made about him. Perhaps it's surprising that he's agreed to promote the film. Savile emerges as loveably strange at best; an egomaniacal, evasive bruiser at worst. But he has always surprised us.
Jimmy Savile has been a bizarre icon for six decades.
Miner, wrestler, cycle racer, dancehall manager, marathon man, Britain's first DJ, Mensa member, book reviewer, Top of the Pops presenter, fundraiser extraordinaire, and perhaps most famously the fixer, the man who would one day realise our childhood dreams. Savile rises from the bed to tell an anecdote from his book-reviewing days.
"After a couple of weeks I said, 'I want to expose a book. It's for children and it's dreadful; there's this girl who's well underage and she takes up with a geezer who's yonks old and eventually they schlep off together.' "
What's the book?
"Wait a minute because you're the audience now," Savile chides. "Now bear in mind this was live TV, and I'm saying, personally, I don't think it's a good thing because I don't think an


The creepiest moment in the documentary occurs late at night when he thinks the camera is off, and he talks about the dancehall days. "I wouldn't stand for any nonsense whatsoever. Ever, ever. I never threw anybody out. Tied them up and put them down in the bloody boiler house until I was ready for them. Two o'clock in the fucking morning... We'd tie em up and then we'd come back and I was the judge, jury and executioner. If a copper came and said 'You were a bit heavy with those two guys', I'd say 'Your daughter comes in here, she's 16, she's not supposed to come into town. Presumably you'd like me to look after her. If you don't want me to look after her, tell me and I'll let them dirty slags do what they want to her.' "

When Theroux questioned him the next day, Savile said he was talking metaphorically. I ask him again what he meant. "With words. I tied them up with words. I would never tie anybody up," he says. I tell him I don't believe him. "Some of my people might have done." How long were they tied up for? "Noooooooah. I forget now. How long does it take to eat? We discussed things." Savile likes to refer to himself as the more,3604,178381,00.html