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October 27, 2012


sf reader

A then-viable defense to allegations a male BBC presenter had paid 100 pounds to a prostitute - she was clearly too young to have been a prostitute. Quite the detail dug up from an old court transcript, and puts another comment in the piece, that it would just not have done to ask about age, into a certain perspective.

Following on from prior threads, I have read a couple of pieces written from the perspective of the young person re: this not so distant era - not contemporaneous, rather recollection, both by Jenny Diski.

Recently: http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2012/10/10/jenny-diski/learning-to-deal-with-loathsome-men/

A while back: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n21/jenny-diski/diary

Both ring completely true to me; I can only hope that my own 14 year old self would have reacted as resiliently (all in all) as she did.


Yes, I think the Diski pieces are really insightful. The O'Hagan piece is brilliantly written and does a lot to pull back some long drawn curtains - but I'm not sure it gives the clue to the background to the Savile revelations as much as the stuff Jenny Diski has written.

In an earlier thread Phil (I think) made the point that, back in the day, lots of young girls thought they wanted to sleep with famous pop stars (& some did, repeatedly) without, at 13 or 14, any clear idea of what this might really mean. In his TOTP days at least I suspect Savile traded off this thirst for glamour. He might not have actually been in the Faces or Slade or Sweet, but, by God, he knows them and has just introduced them on prime time telly!. It's easy to imagine how young women, like the one in the Polanski case Diski writes about,get their dreams shattered by a manipulative older man in such scenarios.

By the time he got to the Jim'll Fix It stage he was older and less directly connected to the glamorous pop culture. My impression is the children in the audience were also getting younger. So, by this stage, perhaps that beeb light entertainment culture O'Hagan writes of may have eased his way. But I suspect the original 'open door' was provided by the unremarked,vicious sexism of the day and the supposedly liberating glamour of 60s & 70s pop culture.

belle le triste

What that grim quote we discussed from Savile's 1974 autobiography seems to prove is that the MO he had already established in Leeds in the 50s was all-too transferable to the BBC in the early 60s. So this is where the link between O'Hagan's piece and Diski's pieces can perhaps be found.

(Caveat and anomaly: the excerpt was read out on Panorama, but dated to the early 60s. In the Times blog that first brought it to wide notice, it's the 50s. Obviously I haven't read Savile's book, and don't actually plan to -- but some fact-checking seems to be in order here, unless I'm being dim.)

john b

Do any of the accusations being made actually stem from the later Jim'll Fix It era? The ones that have so far been reported seem to be largely 1960s and 1970s.

Chris Brooke

Yes, some do.




Mood music from Francis Rossi of Status Quo:

“I think that anybody would be forgiven around that time if you’ve got a girl in the corner – everybody was doing that. There were loads of girls, and they were willing. They were all coming into the dressing room – you’re walking into a rock band’s dressing room with a skirt up to your chin. Everybody was messing about. Of course we were. Everybody was groping everybody – that was it at Top of the Pops, everybody was at it.”

They were all 17 or 18, he says. Of course.


Whoops: link didn't work there- should have been this


The plot seems to have grown thicker.

I remember an accusation along those lines against someone in the 'sofa government', in one of those hint-hint style things that Staines used to do. The individual was named in the comment thread so it will be interesting to see whether it actually turns out to be true. At the time I was young and naive (so still reading) but on the cusp of realising that Guido was a giant bellend, so I tended to write it off as a smear against someone in opposition.

Revisited for the first time in years just now and I see that he has a column in the Daily Star. So much for all the crowing about the dead tree press.


Paedophilic spambot posts have appeared at least four times on this blog today. Is there any chance our discussing the Savile case is attracting them? I suppose I'm asking are spambots programmable to post where certain key words appear?


I'm starting to get a bit worried about this. I'll leave it for now, but I'm away from the internet tonight and if I get any more tomorrow I'm going to suspend commenting for a bit.


"I suppose I'm asking are spambots programmable to post where certain key words appear?"

Of course.

(The Labour figure who used to get smeared over in the fever-swamp was G/e/o/r/g/e R/o/b/e/r/t/s/o/n*, but then he wasn't a No.10 aide of any description and obviously certainly not to Thatcher or Heath.)

*heavy google-proofing seems appropriate

Richard J

Interestingly, the dodgy websitel addresses on my post are all Polish urls.

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