I woke up this morning to the sad news that (Sir) Jimmy Savile had died yesterday (the 29th of October) at the age of 84 (in fact, 2 days shy of his 85th birthday). Most people under the age of 25 or 30 will never have heard of Jimmy Saville, but to people over 30 I am sure his name means something.
Jimmy Savile was a disc jockey, a TV presenter, and a charity fundraiser. In fact, it was for his services to charity fund raising that he was awarded his knighthood in 1990. He was the first ever presenter of Top of The Pops, which debuted on the 1st of January 1964 and was, until the 1990s, obligatory viewing for anyone wishing to follow what was going on in the pop charts in the Disunited Kingdom.
In 1975 he started presenting a TV programme on Saturday evenings called “Jim’ll fix it”. This programme ran for an incredible 19 years. The idea was quite simple, children would write in to Jimmy Savile with a request for something, such as going to the Arsenal training ground to meet their football heroes, and Jim would “fix it” for them. In its time, this programme would attract well over 10 million viewers each Saturday, so combined with his DJ career, Jimmy Savile was very much a household name.
What is maybe less well known is that he raised over £40 million for charity, mainly for Stoke Manderville Hospital. He also volunteered at this hospital, working as a porter, and ran many marathons to raise money for various causes. Like most celebrities, he had a few catch phrases, perhaps the best known being “now then, now then, now then” (always said 3 times).
As many of his colleagues have said today, he was one of a kind. Rest in peace Jimmy Savile.