Now that at least five women have appeared to say that they were raped by Sir Jimmy Savile, it triggered an old memory of schoolboy jokes about him and underage girls – why on earth were we making them? How could we have known? It seemed as if Savile was around forever, and his penchant for young girls was a long-standing rumour in the same way that pupils always used to know when a teacher was gay. Then there were the creepy documentaries about him and ‘The Duchess’, the saintly mother he revered to the point of viewer discomfort.
Certainly there were infamous reports about ‘Top Of The Pops’ cameramen and the show admission system that saw underage girls treated as fair game. One producer said ‘It was what we all did in the seventies’. No, only the ones without morals, matey.
Savile also starred in public safety films (one of which is remixed below, and yes, that’s Edward ‘First Men In The Moon’ Judd at the start*) and they were on the agenda at this month’s Duke Mitchell Film Club night, along with ‘Accident At Work’ videos and the cast of Grange Hill showing you how to use a primitive computer. If you ever want to come along to one of their free events, BTW, keep an eye on their Facebook page here.
Savile was one of those intensely annoying people whom television would not let go of, no matter which decade it was. But it seemed we had a list of national treasures who were always in our newspapers and on our screens, including:
Similar rumours about underaged girls always circulated around Benny Hill. Now it seems that even in death, some of the more inexplicable national treasures can return to make headlines.
*I once managed to ask him whatever had happened to his career at a party, not realising I was talking to him. He told me he got a severe case of stage fright and found it difficult to work.