An Audience With Jimmy Savile

_56361179_013246729-1Here is a picture of Jimmy Savile holding his OBE as he receives his Knighthood from the Queen. Apparently, so the Daily Mail would have us believe, after inveigling himself into Charles’s life as a mentor and adviser, Savile was granted unprecedented access across all the royal palaces upstairs and downstairs.

Imagine that? The DJ was not just at ease with the Queen’s family, but every bit at home with her servants, too. Please see below, a picture of Jimmy Saville wearing the badge of his knighthood and receiving an honorary degree from the University of Bedfordshire.

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‘He was in and out of Buckingham Palace,’ recalls a footman. ‘He would often ask if there was any gossip about the royals, and when you look back, maybe he was building up information which would be useful to him if he ever needed leverage. Lots of people were taken in by his fame, which he used to get people to open up to him. I never heard tales of any sexual abuse, but it was perfectly normal to see him with an arm round the young housemaids and other female servants.

‘We were all taken in by him, and thinking back on it now is frightening.’

Indeed it is. This week an uncomfortable spotlight has been shone on those royal links Savile so assiduously cultivated, thanks to the devastating new play, An Audience With Jimmy Savile, in which the broadcaster is chillingly brought to life by the impressionist Alistair McGowan. Here is what ‘The Telegraph’ has to say about the play,

‘The casting of impressionist Alistair McGowan as Savile had seemed foolhardy, reinforcing the old comic persona of the eccentric charity worker draped in jingle-jangle jewellery and chomping on a cigar. Initially it looked as if McGowan would stay close to the surface, but slowly he teases out a riveting, revolting performance that is by far the best thing of the evening.’

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing a disturbing pattern developing here. Knighthoods, CBEs, OBEs, honorary degrees and all for folk who have had to be near senile, dying or six feet under before anyone thought to inquire, in any measure of detail, into what exactly they had been doing to the nation’s children over the years. The CSA Inquiry will be commencing when exactly?

‘An Audience With Jimmy Saville’ is playing at the Park Theatre, if you can get tickets I suggest you go & see it.

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Until 11 July. Tickets: 020 7870 6876; parktheatre.co.uk

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