You have probably already read about the death of Jimmy Saville this weekend. He passed away at his home in Leeds aged 84. Whilst he wasn’t a musician the late, great Jimmy Saville has played a prominent role in the music world. He was a dance hall disc jockey in the 40s and 50s and he also claimed to have been the first person to put two turntables and a microphone together. He came to prominence as a DJ when he worked at Radio Luxembourg and was among the first DJs on Radio 1. On 1st January 1964 (coincidentally my 5th birthday) he presented the first ever Top Of The Pops from the BBC’s Manchester Studios. He was also one of the presenters of the last ever Top Of The Pops in 2006.
His TV show ‘Jim’ll Fix It‘ made him a true household name as it ran for 20 years on UK TV. the concept was that you wrote to Jim to see if he could ‘fix it’ for you to do something you’ve always wanted to do. At its peak the show received around 20,000 letters per week. I remember that one of my young cousins thought that Jimmy’s first name was in fact Jim’ll.
He also raised vast amounts of money for charity. His accountant apparently said that he stopped counting how much had been raised when it hit £40 million. He ran more than 200 marathons in his tireless effort to raise money. I saw him when I ran my one and only marathon in 1986. I am proud to say that Jimmy Saville finished before me in the London Marathon, obviously he was wearing his trademark gold tracksuit too!
This is a great short interview, documentary clip with the man himself.
I’m sure Mr Saville will be sadly missed by fans, friends and family and my thoughts are with them. Sir Jimmy Saville RIP. I will close with an appropriately titled song from the Undertones;