Jimmy Savile – A Dead Celebrity Cannot Sue

It’s getting harder each day to find someone who doesn’t claim to have been sexually assaulted, as a child, by Sir Jimmy Savile.

As all of us over the age of thirty five will know, Savile had a long and popular career as a DJ and was probably best known as the presenter of the BBC programme Jim’ll Fix It and for his extensive charity work.

One year on from his death, however, an ever growing list of people are now claiming he managed to do more than ‘Fix It’ for them when they were young teens. They are claiming he took them to watch his shows and then sexually assaulted them in his dressing room at BBC TV centre.

He is alleged to have included other well known TV personalities in his ‘parties’, one of whom is said to be convicted paedophile Gary Glitter.

Adding fuel to the story is the allegation that the BBC might have been covering up for any of Saviles’s alleged sexual misdeeds for years, and that their senior management effectively buried a report on Savile by BBC2’s Newsnight team last year.

While the BBC continue to deny such claims – they maintain the story was quashed through lack of any credible evidence – police from the Met have started a new investigation (two previous investigations were dropped following advice from the CPS.

All of the above makes for fascinating headlines about someone who, in life, could at best be described as an eccentric, and who in death makes a very easy target.

Having worked in TV production for several years, I find some of the detail in the accusations hard to believe on purely practical grounds.

  • For most TV productions, there was a minimum age limit (for safety reasons) below which an audience member cannot attend a studio. For shows where young children are required, they would have to have been chaperoned by either a parent or a professional minder.
  • BBC TV Centre is a vast building with good security and the dressing rooms are a distance away from the studios. It is unlikely fourteen-year-old girls would be wandering around the building without being noticed – and challenged – by staff and security personnel.
  • During periods of production, a performer’s dressing room is not a place in which you can easily hide. It is constantly under siege by producers, studio floor staff and wardobe/makeup personnel. Any additional visitors – particularly those of a obviously young age – would be noticed and commented upon. If a sexual assault had been witnessed, why would it not be reported?

Just like everyone else, I have no idea what amount of truth is to be found within the ever growing number of claims being made against a dead Savile. I also can’t think of a logical reason why such claims have taken so long to surface and why previous police investigations have faltered for lack of evidence.

I guess it could all come down to one fact:

A Dead Celebrity Cannot Sue!