Birthday: October 31, 1926
Died At Age: 84
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Also Known As: Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile
Born in: Leeds
Famous as: DJ, Television & Radio Personality
Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Males
father: Vincent Joseph Marie Savile
mother: Agnes Monica Savile
siblings: Christina Savile, Joan Savile, John Savile, Marjory Savile, Mary Savile, Vincent Savile
Died on: October 29, 2011
place of death: Leeds
City: Leeds, England
education: University of Leeds
awards: Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great
Who was Jimmy Savile?
Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile, popularly known as Jimmy Savile, was an English DJ, radio and television personality, and fundraiser. Jimmy was one of Britain’s biggest stars who started his career playing records, followed by managing dance halls and later becoming a DJ on radio and television. He rose to fame after he started presenting the ‘BBC’ show ‘Jim’ll Fix It,’ which ran for more than 15 years. In the show, Jimmy arranged ways to fulfill the dreams of regular people, mostly, children. That clearly exhibited his love for mankind. Being a philanthropist, he was associated with several fundraisers and charity shows for which he was later awarded the ‘OBE’ in 1971. He was also knighted in 1990 for his efforts to change people’s lives. At the time of his death, he was praised for his fund-raising efforts, but hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse were made against him after his death. The police made investigations into the allegations and described him as a ‘predatory sex offender,’ who had allegedly abused more than 500 people from 1955 to 2009, most of them children and young girls.
Childhood & Early Life
James Wilson Vincent Savile was born on October 31, 1926, in Leeds, England, to Vincent Joseph Mary Savile and Agnes Monica Kelly. His father was an insurance agent and a bookmaker’s clerk. He was the youngest of seven children.
Jimmy worked as a Bevin boy at South Kirkby Colliery in West Yorkshire during the ‘World War II.’ He suffered spinal injuries in a mine explosion, which forced him to look for another job.
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He started playing records at dance halls and followed it up by working as DJ. Thereafter, he worked as a manager at the ‘Plaza Ballroom’ on Oxford Road, Manchester. In the late 1950s, he also managed the ‘Mecca Locarno Ball Room’ and the ‘Palais Dance Hall.’
He also tried his hand at professional wrestling, and competed in 1951’s ‘Tour of Britain’ cycle race.
In 1958, Jimmy got an opportunity to work as a DJ at ‘Radio Luxembourg’ where he began to run a show called ‘Teen and Twenty Disc Club.’ The show lasted till 1967 after which he worked for ‘Radio 1’ where he hosted a show called ‘Savile’s Travels.’
During his days in ‘Radio 1,’ Jimmy also presented a show ‘Jimmy Savile’s Old Radio Club,’ which was the first show to feature old songs. After 19 years of working with ‘Radio 1,’ Jimmy moved on to the ‘BBC’ show ‘The Vintage Chart Show.’
He also brought back his ‘Radio 1’ shows, sometime between 1989 and 1997. In 2005, he joined ‘Real Radio’ and presented various shows, such as ‘The Christmas 2005 Show’ and ‘The New Year 2007 Show’ for the network.
He got his first television job as a presenter of the music show ‘Young at Heart’ (1960). It was from this show that Jimmy started dying his hair in different colours, every week.
In 1964, he presented ‘Top of the Pops,’ a hot music programme that aired on ‘BBC.’ Around the same time, he co-hosted the ‘New Musical Express’ Poll Winner’s Concert (televised version), a show that aired performance of artists, such as ‘The Beatles,’ ‘Cliff Richard,’ ‘Joe Brown,’ and ‘The Shadows.’
He also presented ‘Clunk Click Every Trip,’ a show that promoted road safety. It was aired under a series of ‘Public Information Films.’
In 1975, his breakthrough show, ‘Jim’’l Fix It’ replaced ‘Clunk Click Every Trip.’ The show ran till 1994, making him a very well-known face in the television industry.
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In 1995, he appeared in an episode of ‘Is This Your Life?’ where he was interviewed by Andrew Neil. In 1999, he appeared as a panelist in the show ‘Have I Got News for You.’
A documentary, ‘When Louis Met Jimmy,’ by Louis Theroux made Jimmy the subject of the series. The documentary was released in April, 2000. Around this time, the allegations of being a paedophile were made against him, but these allegations were dismissed by Jimmy.
In 2007, he returned to television with ‘Jim’ll Strikes Again.’ He created the show again with an intention to fulfill more dreams.
Jimmy worked in ‘Stoke Mandeville Hospital’ as a volunteer for a many years. During this association, he helped in many fundraisers for the ‘Spinal Unit’ and ‘St. Francis Ward.’
He also volunteered at ‘Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor Hospital’ and due to his dedication toward the hospital, he was asked to oversee the management of the hospital as well. He even had his own room in both the hospitals.
Savile is said to have raised £40 million dollars for charity and welfare. He even sponsored undergraduate medial students in the ‘Leeds University’ under a scholarship scheme.
He also set up two charities, namely, ‘Jimmy Savile Stoke Mandeville Hospital Trust’ in 1981 and the Leeds-based ‘Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust’ in 1984.
Awards & Achievements
Jimmy was appointed ‘Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’ (OBE) in 1972. In 1990, he was honoured as the ‘Knight Bachelor’ for his charities and fundraisers at the ‘Queen’s Birthday Honours.’
He was made ‘Knight Commander of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Gregory the Great’ by Pope John Paul II in 1990. He was also awarded honourable doctorates by the ‘University of Leeds’ (1986) and the ‘University of Bedfordshire’ (2009), which were revoked in 2012.
His autobiography ‘As It Happens’ was released on August 1, 1974.
Jimmy never got married but he claimed to have sexual relationships with many women in his lifetime. He lived with his mother and as weird as it may sound, he took care of her room and belongings, even after her death.
On October 29, 2011, he was found dead in his home in Leeds, a few days after he was hospitalised for a case of pneumonia. He had made his funeral arrangements before leaving the world.
His funeral was attended by more than four thousand people. In 2012, ‘ITV’ released a documentary that revealed details of Jimmy molesting countless boys and girls in hospitals and around BBC’s premises.
After thorough investigations, it was stated that Jimmy was a prolific sexual offender who had assaulted more than 500 people, most of whom were young girls. Many victims claimed that they were raped and molested by Jimmy in dressing rooms, hospitals, schools, and children’s wards.
His abusive behaviour began somewhere around 1940 and continued till 2009. He abused people of all ages, from 8 year old boys and girls to even 75 year-old people.
Many of his awards and accolades were withdrawn after he was named a sexual offender by the authorities.