Jimmy Savile

Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile, OBE, KCSG (; 31 October 1926 – 29 October 2011), commonly known as Jimmy Savile, was an English DJ, television and radio personality, dance hall manager, and charity fundraiser. He hosted the BBC television show ”Jim’ll Fix It, was the first and last presenter of the long-running BBC music chart show Top of the Pops”, and raised an estimated £40 million for charities. At the time of his death he was widely praised for his personal qualities and as a fund-raiser. After his death, hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse were made against him, leading the police to believe that Savile was a predatory sex offender —possibly one of Britain’s most prolific. quoting the head of the NSPCC („It’s now looking possible that Jimmy Savile was one the most prolific sex offenders the NSPCC has ever come across”) and police („We are dealing with alleged abuse on an unprecedented scale. The profile of this operation has empowered a staggering number of victims to come forward … Police previously said Savile’s alleged catalogue of sex abuse could have spanned six decades”). There had been allegations during his lifetime, but they were dismissed and accusers ignored or disbelieved; Savile took legal action against some accusers. Savile was conscripted to work in the coal mines as a Bevin Boy during the Second World War. He began a career playing records in, and later managing, dance halls, and was said to have been the first disc jockey to use twin turntables to keep music in constant play. His media career started as a disc jockey at Radio Luxembourg in 1958 and on Tyne Tees Television in 1960, and he developed a reputation for eccentricity and flamboyance. At the BBC, he presented the first edition of Top of the Pops in 1964 and broadcast on Radio 1 from 1968. From 1975 until 1994, he presented ”Jim’ll Fix It”, a popular television programme in which he arranged for the wishes of viewers, mainly children, to come true. During his lifetime, he was noted for fund-raising and supporting charities and hospitals, in particular Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire. In 2009 he was described by The Guardian as a „prodigious philanthropist” and was honoured for his charity work. He was awarded the OBE in 1971 and was knighted in 1990. In October 2012, almost a year after his death, an ITV documentary examined claims of sexual abuse by Savile and led to extensive media coverage and a substantial and rapidly growing body of witness statements and sexual abuse claims, including accusations against public bodies for covering up or failure of duty. Scotland Yard launched a criminal investigation into allegations of child sex abuse by Savile spanning six decades, describing him as a „predatory sex offender”, and later stated that they were pursuing more than 400 lines of inquiry based on the testimony of 300 potential victims via 14 police forces across the UK. By late October 2012, the scandal had resulted in inquiries or reviews at the BBC, within the National Health Service, the Crown Prosecution Service, and the Department of Health. In June 2014, investigations into Savile’s activities in 28 NHS hospitals, including Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, concluded that he had sexually assaulted staff and patients aged between five and 75 throughout several decades. In January 2013, a joint report by the NSPCC and Metropolitan Police, „Giving Victims a Voice”, stated that 450 people had made complaints against Savile, with the period of alleged abuse stretching from 1955 to 2009 and the ages of the complainants at the time of the assaults ranging from eight to 47. The suspected victims included 28 children aged under 10, including 10 boys aged as young as eight. A further 63 were girls aged between 13 and 16 and nearly three-quarters of his alleged victims were under 18. Some 214 criminal offences were recorded, with 34 rapes having been reported across 28 police forces.

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