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October 29, 2011

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flyingrodent

I remember a nice one when Peter Cushing's daughter wrote in to ask if Jim could Fix It for a rose to be named after her deceased mother. They took a very elderly Cushing - a lifelong gardening enthusiast, apparently - round one of the country's largest nurseries (or whatever you'd call a place where you grow roses) before they presented him with the flower, at which point he got a bit teary. I recall it as quite touching, particularly as Cushing died before broadcast.

CMcM

I've just heard a discussion of, erm, 'his legacy' (I kid you not) on the radio, during the course of which someone or other, I didn't catch the name, made the point that Saville self confessedly 'had no personal friends'.

This may have been a euphemism, for all I know. But taking the statement at face value it would explain a little of the...well, sheer strangeness of the man and the lurking suspicion I had back in the 1970s that whilst he might well be able to Fix It, he was precisely the sort of bloke one shouldn't ask for favours.

Phil

I seem to remember reading in an interview that he essentially had no personal possessions, either - he lived (or slept) in four different flats, in different parts of the country, which he'd had fitted out & furnished identically. And he "didn't get out of bed for less than £10,000" - or it may have been even more, £50k or £100k. This wasn't about avarice - he gave most of the money to charity - but, again, about having his world run as seamlessly as possible: his reasoning was that if the people who booked him were having to find this enormous fee, they would think pretty carefully about making everything run smoothly. Strange man.

Martin Wisse

Strange man, but on the side of angels -- one of the few djs to play to racially mixed crowds back in the fifties apparantly.

Cian

Lynn Barber did an interview with him where she hinted pretty strongly then he had an unhealthy obsession with young girls.

CMcM

Hmm, I never read the Lynn Barber article, nor the book in which it was collected, but this snippet I found on the web suggests she thought the precise opposite:

"...BEING AWARDED a knighthood was a joy and an honour. More interestingly, he says it was also a relief. For the past several years, tabloid journalists have been saying that he must have a serious skeleton in his cupboard, otherwise he would have got a knighthood by now. "Ooh ay, I had a lively couple of years, with the tabloids sniffing about, asking round the corner shops - everything - thinking there must be something the authorities knew that they didn't. Whereas in actual fact I've got to be the most boring geezer in the world because I ain't got no past. And so, if nothing else, it was a gi-normous relief when I got the knighthood, because it got me off the hook."

What he says about tabloid journalists is true. There has been a persistent rumour about him for years, and journalists have often told me as a fact: "Jimmy Savile? Of course, you know he's into little girls." But if they know it, why haven't they published it? The Sun or the News of the World would hardly refuse the chance of featuring a Jimmy Savile sex scandal. It is very, very hard to prove a negative, but the fact that the tabloids have never come up with a scintilla of evidence against Jimmy Savile is as near proof as you can ever get."

jamie

He was an astounding letch, as women who have met him have told me. But the age thing just sounds like something hacks made up based on his appearance. Not unlike the treatment given to Mr Jeffries in Bristol, in a way.

Cian

I'm obviously misremembering it then, but I remember there being all kinds of insinuations by her in it about his weird comments about little girls. It was definitely in an interview by her about the same time of somebody.

And I should have been clearer. I don't think its terribly likely, though given what we now know about William Mayne who the hell knows.

ajay

whilst he might well be able to Fix It, he was precisely the sort of bloke one shouldn't ask for favours.

A man of wealth, but not exactly one of taste.

They missed a real trick not casting him instead of Peter Cook in "Bedazzled".

CMcM

A man of wealth, but not exactly one of taste.

But lacking in the all-important 'well learned politesse' for the role that Cook snagged?

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