9 November 2011

Jimmy


I guess that overseas visitors to this blog may never have even heard of Jimmy Savile. In my view, he was a very special man whose funeral is taking place in the city of Leeds even as I write these words.

Most British people will remember him as a flamboyant disc jockey - the first and last presenter of our iconic TV music programme - "Top of the Pops" but he was more than that, much more.

These are some of the things that Jimmy Savile was: a Yorkshireman, a coal miner, a professional wrestler, a marathon runner, a loyal friend, a proud uncle, a radio presenter, a TV quiz show host, a hospital porter at the Leeds General Infirmary, a counsellor to psychotic murderers in Broadmoor, a massive fund raiser for the spinal injuries unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, an honorary member of the Royal Marines, a member of MENSA, a lifelong committed Christian, a smoker of big fat Cuban cigars, a generous sponsor of university medical students in Leeds, a nightclub entrepreneur... The list is almost endless. It would be difficult to calculate the millions of pounds that he raised for a range of charities.

I am proud to say that I met him when I was sixteen - at a gathering for the National Association of Youth Clubs in St James's Palace, London. Typically, this was another organisation that Jimmy supported though I should point out that the palace wasn't named after him! He was real eccentric, a showman, a "one off" but underneath it all he had a heart of gold. No wonder the people of Leeds are lining the streets in his honour at this very minute.

Owzabout that then?

5 comments:

  1. In the first photo (but not the second), Jimmy looks to these American eyes like a very old, decrepit, pale Prince Charles. I guess the adjectives are superfluous.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You forgot to say that he was a Tory. Just thought I'd mention it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. RHYMES Superfluous indeed.
    SHOOTING PARROTS I think that you are also conservative with a small "c" and so am I. Yes he was attracted to Thatcher. The love child they had together is called Boris Johnson. Jimmy was never a card-carrying Tory but point taken. We all have our faults.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I first met Jimmy when I was a kid in Wharfedale Childrens Hospital. I spent three years there, it was a cross between hospital and boarding school, surrounded by chainlink fence with barbed wire topping. We inmates called it Stalag Luft III.
    It wasnn't a nice place. But Jimmy Savile occasionally bounced in, btinging us entertainment, music, and his larger-than-life self.

    Years later, I'd bump into him often, at Dunny's Caff, by the river in otley, a no-nonsense biker and working boots sort of place. We'd exchange nods, and comment on the weather. Everybody or mostly everybody, respected his privacy, he'd be in stealth mode, a big woolly hat covering his head...
    I never got to thank him for caring about poorly kids in a forgotten backwater.

    ReplyDelete
  5. As for Jim's political thoughts? He never gave himself up to be a political stooge, unlike many I could think of.
    I know one of his very good friends was a communist.
    If he was a tory, then he was also a man who raised, so it's said, over £46 million for charities and gave large amounts of his time, throughout all of his life, to help those worse-off than him. Unlike, for instance, Millionaire Blair.

    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.