Stories about pedophilia are filling news bulletins and none more so than the sordid tale of UK celebrity DJ and charity worker, Jimmy Savile. “Sir Jim”, as he became after his knighthood, was ubiquitous on TV when I was growing up in England in the seventies.
Top of the Pops was the forerunner of Countdown in Australia and the favourite show of most adolescents. Savile was born in Leeds and his broad Yorkshire accent was similar to mine. It was a time when it was rare to hear anyone from regional areas on prime-time television.
As part of a publicity drive for his new TV show, Jim’ll Fix It, Savile visited my school in 1975. I didn’t speak to him, but he reminded me of the Pied Piper that day, strutting around with hundreds of followers falling in behind. What I remember most about seeing him on TV is a strange sense of guilty betrayal that I didn’t like him.
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