DJ and TV presenter Jimmy Savile dies, aged 84

 

A look back at the life of Sir Jimmy Savile

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Former DJ, TV presenter and charity fundraiser Sir Jimmy Savile has died, aged 84.

Savile, who was one of the most famous names on British TV and radio in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, died on Saturday.

Police said they were called to his home in Leeds, but that there was nothing suspicious about his death.

His family programme, Jim'll Fix It, drew in huge audiences and the programme received 20,000 letters a week at the height of its popularity.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said officers were called to the house in Roundhay at 12:10 BST.

Details of how he died were not yet known, but he was recently in hospital with pneumonia.

His nephew, Roger Foster, said he "passed away quietly in his sleep during the night".

"Jimmy was a wonderful man. His public face is well-known but we knew him much more as an uncle. He was a very good friend. Jimmy will be sadly missed by very many people."

Broadcaster Tony Blackburn said Sir Jimmy was embraced by everybody, and was "always just Jimmy Savile".

"He was just a complete one-off. I think he was a bit of a lonely character as well. In the privacy of his own life I don't think he had very many friends."

Tony Blackburn: "Jimmy Savile was a complete one-off"

He added: "I've never known anyone quite like him. He was a blunt speaking northerner, but also kind and very respectful."

Presenter Dave Lee Travis told Sky News: "We are all going to be worse off without him around."

Prince Charles has also praised Sir Jimmy in a statement released by Clarence House: "The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are saddened to hear of Jimmy Savile's death and their thoughts are with his family at this time," it said.

Savile started out as a dance hall DJ in the 1950s, before making his name as a broadcaster on Radio Luxembourg.

He was one of the first DJs on BBC Radio 1 and launched Top of the Pops in 1964.

He also appeared on the music show's final edition in 2006.

Charity fundraiser

His TV persona included chunky gold jewellery, a huge cigar, his trademark snowy white hair and a number of catch-phrases which were frequently parodied by impressionists such as Mike Yarwood.

Born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, Savile was conscripted as a Bevin Boy, working in the coal mines during the war.

Away from broadcasting, he was noted for his charity work, running 200 marathons and raising £40m over the years.

Sir Jimmy Savile talks about how he came up with the idea of a disco

He was a volunteer at the hospital and ran more than 200 marathons for various charitable organisations.

Sir Jimmy raised £20m for the creation of the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, in 1983 after a storm damaged wooden huts which had housed spinal cord injury patients.

A spokeswoman for Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said Sir Jimmy would be missed by staff and patients, adding: "He was tireless in his attempts to fundraise for the hospital and was integral in the creation of the National Spinal Injuries Centre that we have today."

Savile was knighted by the Queen in 1990 for his charity work.

 

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  • Comment number 247.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 246.

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  • Comment number 245.

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 244.

    243. jobytug
    "We're having some problems rating this comment at the moment. Sorry. We're doing our best to fix it.

    Take your time Jimmy, I can wait."

    And you had the gall to call Jimmy 'sad and lonely'? You must have posted well over a dozen comments on here and nearly all of them have been deleted, because literally not a single one of them has meant anything. Please, put yourself to bed.

  • Comment number 243.

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  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 242.

    Legend - I don't think so! Certainly not as a DJ which I believe was his main profession - thought he was fairly awful on that front.
    Did good things for charity, ran many marathons, brightened up some peoples lives certainly, had silly catchphrases and kids programs and wore silly clothes and stuff sure.
    Legend - not a chance.
    RIP all the same

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 241.

    I met sir jimmy one night whilst i was sat in a bus stop in cardiff he just came running up to the stop and lit his cigar had a little chat and continued on his way.
    when i got home i told my wife what had happen and to this day she does not beleave me
    RIP SIR JIMMY YOU HAVE EARNT YOUR REST SIR!

  • Comment number 240.

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 239.

    I met this wonderful man several times in my life at various places. He always found time to stop and chat with my family (Mum and my daughter) who both came to love him dearly. His help and support were never far away, and I truely hope that wherever he may be now he will be eternally thanked for being the human being he was.

    If you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing!

  • Comment number 238.

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 237.

    235. lochalsh1 "a thoroughly obnoxious Thatcherite, gals and guys.."

    Blimey. If that means being a fond memory from many childhoods, raising £40+ million for charity and (according to the Guardian obit) giving away 90 per cent of your income, then I hope I may learn the way of the "thoroughly obnoxious Thatcherite".

    Even the Mirror remembers him fondly. That's some axe you have to grind there!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 236.

    I remember seeing an aggressive TV interview where the interviewer (I think Martin Bashir) was asking Jimmy Saville if all his charity work wasn't just elaborate self-publicity?

    Jimmy replied he came from a poor family, where they were all taught that however little they had, they should always try to help others; and that had remained with him for life.

    It shot the interviewer down in flames!

  • Comment number 235.

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 234.

    Met Jimmy only once and quite by chance. He appeared from nowhere to serve me in a roadside restaurant in Crianlarich , Perthshire, dressed in walking gear. The characteristic voice from within I initially thought was the radio ! Imagine my surprise to be served by the man himself and me the only customer ! He was about to walk over the moors to Glencoe again. RIP Jimmy.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 233.

    One of the few celebrities who could actually be described as a legend. The fact that he invented dj-ing as we know it today was enough but his presence in Britain from the 60s onwards really gives meaning to larger than life. So what if he was eccentric many celebriities are but unlike Jimmy try to hide it. A true Leeds legend.RIP Jimmy.

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    0

    Comment number 232.

    Unique. Individual. Athlete.Music Aficionado.Carer.Miner - so many words are needed to describe Big Jim. A truly Great Briton.

    RIP Jim - i think Heaven may have just got a bit louder..... :0)

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 231.

    vA fine human being from whom we could all learn a lot about humanity. The world would be a better place if we all spent the odd day or two unselfishly helping others like Sir Jimmy. Thanks for all you did and RIP. Gary x

  • Comment number 230.

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 229.

    I like many on here grew up with Jimmy on the TV and Radio, yes he was colourful, didn't conform and had some strange habits but God he demanded your attention when you met him because he was such a great character and personality. The world would be very dull without these bright lights and this one dimming has definitely made it a less colorful world.
    RIP Jim

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 228.

    Jimmy’s appearance - when I first met him at Commando School in 1969 I asked him why he dressed like he did and about his two tone hair style. His answer “No man should be ashamed of their working clothes” He also chose to do his charity work on certain days of the week instead of working because he didn't need the extra income and he felt the extra tax revenue would not be better spent.

 

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