Louis Theroux sets out to understand how a man at the centre of British entertainment and charitable fundraising for decades was able to get away with a long litany of crimes.
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This programme contains some strong language
and scenes which some viewers may find upsetting
Jimmy, what are you up to?
'This footage is of a visit Jimmy Savile made
'to my house in 2001.'
Come and look at my exercise bike.
We'd had a friendly relationship
since making a documentary together the previous year.
# Ho ho ho
-# Ho ho ho
-Ho ho ho
# Ho ho ho... #
One of my reasons for keeping in touch
was that I thought there was a side to him I hadn't seen.
All right, then.
-Thanks for coming by.
-OK. Good morning.
And if you ever do need a place to crash in London,
you've seen you've got a room upstairs.
-Thank you very much. I appreciated that.
I'm just going to check out that it's safe out here.
If I go out backwards, people will think I'm coming in.
But I never found out the truth while he was alive.
-Good to see you.
Jimmy! Jimmy! Jimmy!
A report into how Jimmy Savile was able to abuse children
while working for the BBC is due to be published.
A leaked draft of Dame Janet Smith's report
criticised a culture of untouchable stars at the corporation.
Our media correspondent David Sillitoe can give us the latest.
David, what do we know so far?
Well, this is the box in which I keep my Jimmy Savile material.
So the background is I made this film... It's quite heavy.
..in 2000. When Louis Met Jimmy, and spent several weeks
over the course of a few months trying to get to know him.
-How's it going? Nice to meet you.
-How are you?
Yeah, not too bad. How are you doing?
You're better looking than me, you'll have to go.
Anybody better looking than me, that's it.
Step this way.
-How are you feeling?
-Regularly. How are you?
Not too bad.
Marvellous, I'm like a butcher's dog, as it happens,
and there's nothing more fitter and stronger than a butcher's dog.
-All the scraps, all the bones, all the hair. That's it.
15 years after I first met him,
and three years after the revelation of his vast offence history,
I decided to speak to some of the people who'd known Jimmy Savile.
His friends and his victims.
I wanted to try to understand
how he'd got away with his crimes for so long,
to see what clues there were in hindsight
'and make sense of my own failure to recognise him for what he was.'
I've come to wake you up.
That makes the searching documentaries of the world here...
-Get back. Don't mind him.
-Is Kat available?
-Shall we come in?
How are you doing? Nice to meet you.
The first to speak out after he died had been an ex-pupil at Duncroft,
a boarding school for troubled teenage girls.
Her name was Kat Ward.
This is Duncroft, that was how Duncroft was.
I was sent there because I was in care in Norfolk.
And I kept running away.
So can you remember the first time
Jimmy Savile came to the school?
There was a level of excitement, I suppose.
-He was someone off the telly.
-Oh, God, yes.
We'd all get excited about it.
Well, we'd wonder what he's going to bring this time.
Sometimes he brought records. I mean, he was a disc jockey
and he always came loaded with cigarettes.
Because, of course, back then all the girls smoked.
And some of the girls would get chosen to take a ride
in the Rolls with Jimmy. Is that right?
Did you have any inkling of what might be in store?
Had there been whispers?
There weren't whispers. We talked about it openly.
-About what he was after?
He had mainly been doing a bit of snogging,
sticking his tongue down your throat,
which was horrible because he tasted of those fat, smelly cigars,
and he liked to have a grope, if he could.
There was nothing to grope on my chest, but he did like to grope.
I think he preferred smaller breasts, actually.
What makes you say that?
Because the girls that he tended to select
tended to be on the slender and less developed side.
If I'm absolutely honest with you,
the abuse that I suffered at the hands of Jimmy Savile
was nothing compared to what had gone before.
-From your stepfather?
Yeah, and my stepfather's friends.
By the time I was about ten,
I had decided that men were predators.
Men were bullies.
Men only wanted women for sexual favours.
So, because I was used to abuse...
This must sound awful.
Because I was more used to it,
I didn't find the sort of things that he asked for
to be peculiar, because by that time I had decided that,
well, that's what men do, all men.
You know, I can remember the first time that he wanted me
to fellate him and I was like,
"No, I don't want to, I don't want to."
So I gave him hand relief instead.
But then the next time he took me out and asked me to fellate him,
and I said, "I don't want to. I don't want to."
He said, "Look if you do, you can come to London
"and be on my television programme."
Morning all. Morning all.
Welcome to Clunk Clink.
How are we today?
Obviously if you, as a child,
have to fellate an adult,
there's a lot of gagging and retching
and quite often vomiting involved.
He flung the car door open and said, "Not in the car, not in the car."
Did you watch my documentary at the time?
-What did you make of it?
What were you expecting and what did you see?
My actual reaction was along the lines of,
"He's really, really been hoodwinked here."
-It's an awful thing to say.
-No, no, it's good to hear that.
After he died, I really had to take a step back
and examine my own conscience a little bit to think about,
"Well, what did I miss and what more could I have done?"
We can all look back now and say, "Why didn't we see that?
"Yeah, he told us what he was.
"And we didn't see it. Why didn't we see it?"
He was very clever.
The idea that he might have a secret
was one of the motivations behind my original documentary.
Like many, from my teenage years, I had heard unsavoury rumours
about Jimmy Savile.
From our first day together,
it was clear he enjoyed the perception
that no-one knew his private affairs.
-Do we not talk about that?
-We can talk about anything.
-Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
-That's right. Talk about anything.
You'll find out how tricky I am. Next.
Got him on the ropes.
I've got him on the ropes. He's on the ropes.
But as filming progressed, I saw that he was committing himself
to the documentary in ways I hadn't expected
from someone of his celebrity.
'Working long hours.'
Give me the bag, Jimmy.
'Staying overnight in a caravan in Scotland.
'Letting me sleep in his dead mother's bedroom.
'On one of our last days of filming,
'I'd asked about the rumours that swirled around him.'
It's easy for me, as a single man, to say,
"I don't like children."
Because that puts a lot of salacious tabloid people
off the hunt.
Are you basically saying that so tabloids don't pursue
this whole is he, isn't he a paedophile line, basically?
Yes. Yes. Yes.
How do they know whether I am or not?
How does anybody know whether I am?
Nobody knows whether I am or not. I know I'm not.
I can tell you from experience the easy way of doing it
when they say "All them children on Jim'll Fix It."
-"Yeah, hate them."
-To me, that sounds more sort of suspicious in a way...
..because it seems so implausible.
-That's my policy. That's the way it goes.
'At the time it hadn't felt
'like a particularly revealing exchange.'
Ho, ho, ho.
And it's on until 10pm.
After the documentary went out,
I felt a degree of gratitude for the effort he'd put into it
and we kept in touch.
Here we go. What Jimmy and Louis did next.
"Welcome to the 21st century's strangest friendship."
"I found Jimmy rather defensive", says Louis.
"If someone came into your house and went through your stuff,
"what would you be?" rails Jimmy.
"But I tell you something - he found zilch.
"I'm not into white powder, I'm not into that underage shit.
"I'm a marathon runner and we're very boring people."
-Louis Theroux with us in the studio.
-Thank you for coming in.
-Thanks for having me.
Like most of the country, I think, I'm intrigued
by what actually goes on in Jimmy's head,
in Jimmy's life, in Jimmy's house.
Was there any one thing you wanted to ask Jimmy when you were there
and you lost your nerve?
Well, it's hard to say. No, he's pretty much...
You can ask him almost anything.
He is a sexual enigma.
I still haven't really sorted out what's goes on there exactly.
Our association had lasted a number of years.
Jimmy Savile used to boast that he didn't have emotions.
But there are many people who knew him in a friendly way for decades.
I wondered if they might shed light on who he really was.
DOORBELL PLAYS JAUNTY TUNE
-How do you do?
I'm better now I've seen you. Come in.
Shall I take these off?
Only if you're staying in.
What do you think?
Should we go into the garage and look at some of the stuff?
Yes. Right, I'll just get my coat.
-Can I shut the door now?
-Course you can. You do what you want, Janet?
Janet Cope was Jimmy Savile's PA.
Besides his mother, she probably spent more time with him
than any other woman.
This is your stuff that remains from when you were working with him
and you worked with him for about 28 years, didn't you?
Yeah, nearly 30.
"Dear Jimmy. I was enormously touched by your very kind letter.
"Yours sincerely, Prince Charles."
-There's one like that from Mrs Thatcher somewhere.
-But he always remembered his team.
There wasn't anywhere I couldn't ring.
To get hold of Downing Street,
I had a direct line to Downing Street.
It's been quite hard finding close friends of his to speak now.
Yeah. He didn't have many close friends.
He found friends an incumbence.
He liked his freedom. He didn't want anything that weighed him down.
In a way a friendship is a two-way relationship.
-And really, he wanted one-way relationships.
Yes. Which is why, I think, Jim and I got on so well.
He controlled things.
Not in a nasty way, but in a positive way.
He'd come over here for his dinner.
But he still had control over me, like what we ate,
the time he would arrive, the smoking indoors.
Oh, look! "After all this, it's got to be that."
What do you think about that?
Didn't worry me. Didn't think twice about it.
Well, for someone who advertised the fact
that he didn't have any emotions...
No, no, course he...
He loves me cos I'm convenient.
I think I know the answer to this. Did...?
No, I didn't love him.
Did you see the documentary I made with him?
Yeah. Yeah. I did.
Did you have any thoughts on it?
I laughed because I thought,
especially when you were in the back of that camper van
and he said he slept in it all night.
I thought, "Good old Louis, he's believed him."
-You think he didn't?
-No, of course he didn't.
What makes you think he didn't?
Because he's a good liar.
He used to tell people how many marathons he'd done.
Every time he'd tell journalists the number of marathons he'd done,
the number was different.
But I had no proof and neither did anybody else,
because nobody checked up on it.
Did you feel that he had any sexual interests?
I used to tell people that he was asexual
because people always accused him of being gay and he wasn't gay.
But then he wasn't craving what I call female...closeness.
In my... Not that I ever saw or witnessed. Ever.
Jim fixed me. I remember that.
I read it at the time.
"For 28 years she was PA to the eccentric Savile.
"Even cooking and cleaning for him.
" 'Then one day', says Janet Cope, 'she was out, not with a warning
" 'and not even a thank you.' "
I was sick to death of hearing him say, "Put the kettle on."
Made the tea, took it in. Just put it all around the table.
And then he said... One thing led to another. I can't remember.
-He said, "She's going."
Pointing at you?
Yeah, well, I was...
I don't know how I felt, I was gobsmacked.
I went up to him and I just said,
"Jim, why have you done this to me? Why have you done this?
"I've lied for you. I've looked after you all this time. Why have you done this to me?"
He had a pile of papers in his hand.
He said, "Today's today, tomorrow's tomorrow.
"I've got a train to catch. End of."
He didn't understand other people's feelings.
He just didn't.
But then they weren't important to him,
so why should he understand them?
-Janet, you have been Jimmy's assistant for 20 years...?
Before you leave his employ, can you tell us about it?
Yes, Jimmy has a dream and he usually makes dreams come true.
I couldn't help feeling that Janet too had been used by Jimmy Savile.
A provider of food and shelter and showing total loyalty
and yet without ever really getting close.
It was striking that someone could know him so well
while also knowing him barely at all.
In our time together,
Jimmy Savile had only entertained serious questions
about his private life on one occasion.
-Do they ever ask you to host it?
-Not just now.
'During a visit to the flat in Scarborough he'd once shared
'with the only woman he'd ever said he loved.'
You said you have the Duchess's clothes?
'His mother, who he called the Duchess.'
My cleaner takes them out
and gets them cleaned and freshened up once...
about once a year. Now all this gear was gear she wore,
so instead of slinging it away, I thought I would hang on to it,
cos these make better souvenirs than photographs.
Look, it's all knitting, stuff like that.
-We both lived here.
Did that not cramp your style a little bit?
No, not at all.
If you see over there on the horizon a caravan camp.
-I had a caravan there.
So that was the love nest.
It was my big chance to address the central question
of what his sexual interests were.
Do you mean to say that you've never, ever, ever had a girlfriend?
Friends that are girls, eight million.
Friends that are girls. Yeah.
But girlfriend in the sense of today,
ie, you are together, you don't bother with anyone else, et cetera -
-Not even for like a week?
-No. Not even for a week. No.
What strikes me looking back is that in describing large numbers
of fleeting encounters,
he was telling part of the truth,
leaving out that they involved child molestation,
rape and sexual assault.
A few weeks after the documentary aired in 2000, I received a letter.
It came from two women who described themselves
as girlfriends of Jimmy Savile.
"We watched your TV programme with great interest.
"It's a shame in your research you didn't find us
"and ask us some questions about Jim.
"We could have directed you as to how to tackle him
"and what to ask.
"Contrary to what Jim would like you to believe,
"Jim did have a lot of girlfriends, not girls that were just friends.
"We were two of them. All Jim's girlfriends knew each other.
"There was never jealousies.
"We're all enormous friends to this day."
I went along to meet them for tea in London.
They were in their mid-40s.
They described a long friendly relationship
that had start decades earlier at the BBC.
But knowing everything I know now about Jimmy Savile,
some details of what they told me are troubling.
I said to one of them, "How old were you?"
"You sound like Jimmy", she said,
"That's the first question he would always ask. How old are you?"
"Why?" I said, "Why do you think?"
If you extract the details,
it is predatory and...
inappropriate and unhealthy.
In fact, one of them had been 15 when she started the relationship,
so it is criminal.
But you've got the friendship and also their tone,
which was to do with affection.
At the time, I took the relationships to be symptomatic
of a different era, the show business world of the '60s and '70s.
In fact, in those early days at the BBC,
Jimmy Savile was involved in multiple sexual assaults.
Some involving children.
The shows he made gave him access to vulnerable youngsters...
and also the celebrity and the cache to win their trust.
Oh, don't go in the water.
-Louis, how do you do?
-How do you do?
-Nice to meet you.
Do you come out here quite a bit.
'Gill Stribling-Wright, an ex-BBC producer,
'worked with him on and off for 30 years.'
What was your professional association with Jimmy Savile?
Well, I was a researcher on Jim'll Fix It
right from the beginning,
and before that, two series of a not very successful show
-called Clunk Click.
-Did you also work on Top Of The Pops?
I worked on Top Of The Pops, yes.
Have you familiarised yourself with the various accounts
by victims of what happened in the reports that have come out?
No. I haven't read in detail the reports
-because I don't quite know what I'd do with it.
I didn't see anything.
I've done various interviews about it
and I really didn't see anything
that would give me cause for concern.
The music industry was like that,
sex and drugs and rock and roll.
People could get away with stuff, as much as they probably still do.
The small difference of this being a BBC studio,
-a BBC dressing room, basically a kids' show...
A kids' show that you were working on.
It always sounds shocking when people say they're not shocked
and horrified and dramatically overwhelmed by everything,
but, um...I wasn't.
I wonder if you would react slightly differently if you read the reports.
There's an accumulation of account which is...
There were words that you mentioned,
"horrifying", but which are actually justified.
And which you can only really appreciate
if you see the scale, if you try to comprehend the scale
of what went on.
It sounds when we talk about it like you're trying to...
I feel like I'm trying to justify why this thing happened
and why nobody did anything about it.
I mean, my relationship with Savile was very much in the workplace.
I didn't see him on any social occasions,
but then, as he once said to me,
I was a bit walnut-ish. I was in my mid-20s.
What did you take walnut-ish to mean?
A bit too old.
Because walnuts are sort of wrinkly?
-Brown and wrinkly.
Part of his persona was the fact
that he would tread very close to the line,
in hindsight, you realise now.
I once had a conversation with him about the perfect crime.
And he said, "The problem is it's not a perfect crime
"unless you can get the kudos for having committed the perfect crime,
"but the second you get the kudos for having committed
"the perfect crime, ie by telling somebody,
"it is then no longer the perfect crime."
I sometimes wonder if he was kind of teasing the world
in an effort to be discovered.
Here's another one. Louis's tip.
I think that's when he came into the office on one occasion.
In 2001, Jimmy Savile paid a visit to my BBC offices
for a short follow-up documentary.
-How are you?
What a dreadful tip this is.
He was dressed inappropriately, his behaviour was borderline creepy,
but at the time, like others,
I felt this was part of his comic persona.
Oh, my goodness!
Oh, yes! Yes!
Here. I hope that Mr Louis Theroux never comes.
That will do for me.
I would like to strip these girls, baring their secrets.
Mr Jimmy Savile, how are you doing?
You didn't jog all the way down, did you?
Where've you been?
This beautiful girl has just come in bearing gifts.
Thank you. You are very, very kind.
Can you walk away slowly, please?
Thank you. Now what I'm going to do, because I'm in the BBC,
I must now change.
You don't mind if I change here, do you?
Looking back he almost seems to be showing
how much he can get away with.
And daring us to challenge him.
Later, his conversation returned to a favourite theme
of how to deal with unwelcome attention from the tabloids.
Does it perturb you at all that you are actually in that category
where somebody can have a go at you?
They don't care whether it's right, wrong, true, false,
so long as they've got names, baby, they'll have a feast.
Say, for instance, you were interviewing me
on an allegation of something that was not nice, right?
And you said to me, you're alleged to have...
My answer would be, "It would be a lot worse if it were true."
Well... LOUIS CLEARS HIS THROAT
They do say no smoke without a fire, don't they?
After he died, there were numerous reports
detailing the scale of Jimmy Savile's offending.
They identified 326 victims,
describing a range of incidents,
from the relatively less serious to rape and child abuse.
72 victims involved the BBC.
177 were at hospitals.
"We know that your client has agreed not to pursue a claim
-"against this newspaper."
They said that I was derogatory to patients.
Right. Which I wasn't. And so they agreed that I wasn't
and they said, "We have made a mistake,
"kindly take this nice few quid."
That seems a bit rich, given how much...
I mean for them to accuse you of being derogatory to patients
-given how much money you raise.
-That's why they all pay up.
Cherie Wheatcroft was a patient at Stoke Mandeville in 1973.
-How do you do?
-How do you do? Nice to meet you.
How do you like to say your name? Che-ree or Cher-ee?
-Are you Clive?
-Very pleased to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
-Are these all your paintings?
That's what I spend most of my time doing.
Painting all day and actually all night, mostly.
There's a lot of James Blunt pictures.
Well, I did...
Do you specialise in him?
Basically, my daughter was a big fan and she introduced me to him.
We went to see him.
Believe it or not, James Blunt came at the side of me
and I got pushed into him.
-Look at that. That's brilliant.
Do you consider yourself to have been a victim?
Are you happy with that term?
I would never let my children watch him on television.
As soon as anything came on about him,
I would turn the television off.
When Jim'll Fix It was on?
Yeah, anything like that.
But you said you watched the documentary I made in 2000?
Yes, I did watch that.
So what did you...? What was the feeling of...?
I was just really, really annoyed. I was, like, fuming.
I just thought, "Oh, he's a silly chap,
"he doesn't know what goes on. He doesn't know.
"So gullible." You know?
Why have you written my name and address on this pad?
Because I never know whether you existed or not.
Yeah. How did you get the address?
-I get anything, me.
-How did you get it, though?
I can get anything. There's nothing I can't get
and there's nothing I can't do.
You felt that I was gullible and silly?
Mm, oh, yeah.
You were young. And he was like, "I'm the celebrity.
"I'm... I'm big." You know.
And then that just came over that he was manipulating things.
What has been difficult is realising that...
I failed to get to the truth about him and that I wasn't able to do
more to kind of bring him to account while he was still alive.
Well, he was so good at disguising everything.
I was at school doing A-levels. But all hell went loose because
I found out I was pregnant.
I was too scared to let my parents know about it, and I had it
on January 18th and they didn't know.
I just wanted to go home. And there was a huge electric
two-bar fire behind the door, and I fell on it,
like this. So I remember looking at my hands and just fainting.
And then I didn't know where I was going, of course.
I just remember seeing trees go by.
I got to the hospital and obviously started to come round.
I couldn't use my hands. They were all bandaged up.
And I was sitting on the end of my bed and I was just
looking out the window, as I am now...
..and I saw somebody just running, but as they were running,
they looked at me, and of course I was looking at them.
And their run... They changed course.
And the eyes fixed on me. And they started running directly towards me.
And the next minute, the person tried to climb in the window.
And I just couldn't believe it. I was like
in shock, and he was climbing in, and by the
time he got down, jumped down, he was then
smiling but came straight at me.
Went to kiss me and stuck his tongue right down my throat.
Went for my face. Obviously, I couldn't use my hands.
Held my face and put his tongue right down my throat.
And it wasn't just quick. It went on and on.
And then he started jabbering.
"You've been a naughty girl, haven't you?
"You've been a naughty girl, haven't you?
"You've been a naughty girl with your boyfriend, haven't you?"
He just kept on repeating. It wasn't just, like,
going on to one sentence and then another. He just kept repeating it.
Because I didn't answer, he kept repeating it.
And there was things coming out about my health
and previous things, and I thought...
Straight away I knew that he'd seen my health record.
Something gave me the idea that he'd seen my health records or that he'd
spoken to the head surgeon, as well, whatever,
or somebody had told him that I'm on my own in there.
It sort of suggests that he had scoped you out.
I mean, I don't want to compare
something hideous that you went through to
something trivial, but in my documentary
there's a moment when he shows me a bit of paper
with my address on it, which was ex-directory
and therefore not easy to get hold of, that led
me to believe that he had somehow finagled his way into...
or knew someone with access to my... You know, some civil servant.
I think he probably did.
You've been with Clive about 20 years, did you say?
-And I imagine you spoke to Clive about
-the Jimmy Savile incidents?
-Oh, yes, yes.
-You knew about that before?
I've known about it in fleeting parts, only when Cherie has
-opened up about it.
The most current question that people ask, I have
noticed, is "Why didn't you say something about it?"
I'm furious with myself, as well.
Why on earth didn't I just go up to somebody
and complain and make a thing of it?
But you were scared to. He'd got money, influence.
You know, that whole thing, you were, you know,
you were just, like, scared to say anything, you know.
'In 2000, Jimmy Savile had taken me to
'the hospital where he'd once abused Cherie.
'Throughout the '70s and afterwards, he'd continued
'to visit, raising millions for a new building.'
So, where are we, in fact? This is the Stoke Mandeville
spinal injuries centre?
No, this is the National Spinal Injuries Centre
at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
'Is this the jewel in the crown of the Jimmy Savile accomplishments?'
I would have said it's the biggest. Yes.
How does it make you feel, walking through these
corridors which you were instrumental in building?
Well, seeing as they've been open for 20 years,
I don't feel anything now. Just nice and happy that it's here.
'At the time, amid all his bizarre qualities, Jimmy Savile's
'charitable work had felt like his great redeeming feature.
'In hindsight, it was a smokescreen for his abuse
'and a way of getting access to vulnerable people.
'I was curious to meet someone from the hospital
'and to hear how they made sense of it all now, looking back.
'Sylvia Nicol worked closely with Jimmy Savile on the
'Stoke Mandeville appeal.'
-Hi. Sylvia? Louis.
-Yes! Hello, Louis!
-Can I come in?
-Yeah, I'll let you come in!
-You'll let me? OK.
-Is that you there?
-Yeah, that's me. That's Jan, me and Marie-Ann.
In what capacity were you working when you first met him?
As a medical secretary, at the NHS
in the spinal centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
He came to Stoke in '69, and it was
to do a walk for the Red Cross. And he stayed.
He basically made our office a bit of a base.
It was 2nd January 1980.
We had a really bad snowstorm.
All our ceilings were caving in. They were wooden huts built in 1943.
The lights were full of water
as the snow was melting, you know, that deep,
and it was chaos.
And Dr Silver then phoned Jim.
"You must come, you must come. You've got to do something."
And Jim did. And within two days, we were flooded with letters
into Stoke Mandeville.
Just "Jimmy Savile, Stoke Mandeville Hospital" is all it would say.
And in it would be cheques and money, fluffy toys,
-everything came in.
-And when did it open, do you recall?
1983, August 3rd was the opening day.
-That was where Prince Charles and Princess Diana came along?
Prince Charles went to Stoke Mandeville Hospital
in Buckinghamshire today to open a new unit, and even
though it wasn't planned, he took his wife along with him.
Only I know the real reason the princess is here, and I must say
it's a complicated way of getting a request played on Radio 1.
When I said that it cost £10 million,
how on earth do you raise £10 million in three years?
-Oh, my goodness.
-You can get it out, if you can.
-Can I? There it is.
-There it is.
So this picture, when people said,
"Have you got anything you can give us when we send you money in?"
we sent them this, quite a big photograph, probably
that big, of Jim, rolled up.
As a thank you for donations, yeah.
There's the Lego. And, as you can see, it's the same colouring.
-Who did that?
-Lego did it?
-Legoland sent us that.
Everything just came to him. It was an unbelievable experience,
Now, every morning I open this door and say, "Why don't you do
-"something about all this?"
I can see him. I don't quite cover his face,
and I say, "Why don't you do something about all this?"
Because I reckoned he could do anything.
Do something about what?
This...what's...furore that's arisen since he died.
-Do you really do that?
-I really do that.
-Why do you do that?
I don't know. I don't know. Because what else can you do? You can't...
I did pray to God a little bit, occasionally. Sort of said,
"Why is all this happening?"
Because it was just...shattering.
So, basically, am I right in thinking you don't really believe
..he raped, abused, molested?
No, I've never said that I don't believe that.
I've made an absolute point of saying
I only saw the good in Jimmy Savile.
I never saw anything in that line.
And had I seen anything in that line, I would
have been the first to report it.
I believe that you didn't see anything like that.
-I didn't see anything like that either.
-Nor hear anything like that.
But I also have to, erm...
..believe those accounts and...
try to square them with... the person that I thought I knew.
But you didn't know him for as long as I did.
We've had a pretty ghastly time.
I'm a victim, his family are victims
as much as anyone else would be a victim.
Who or what are you a victim of?
I'm a victim of... losing those memories.
And that is quite a big thing out of your life...
..because when you get older, your memories do become more important.
And that was many years of memories.
He wasn't a friend to me, he was a friend to what I'd...
..spent 50 years of my life with, which is the spinal centre.
we wouldn't have a spinal centre there now but for Jimmy,
which would mean we wouldn't have a lot of people still alive.
-Look in the corner.
You needn't film that, but I'm not going to get rid of it.
-Can I take it out?
It's been there for years. It's been there for...
It was Jim on one of his cruises.
That one can go back there. That's discreet.
So I try to only know, and I do know,
that I only saw good.
And that's all I can ever say about this.
Sylvia seemed a stark example of how Jimmy Savile
was able to win the good opinion of well-meaning people.
'In the two years after my documentary,
'I made three or four visits up to Leeds.
'There was always a professional reason,
'recording DVD inserts or doing press for shows.
'And I continued to be tantalised by whether the mask might slip.'
It's all right, no sweat.
'But there was also a social dimension -
'a part of me had come to see him as something like a friend...'
Don't think I've ever been here in the summer before.
Yeah, me neither.
What's happening now?
I'm just getting you the attention you deserve.
'..while he had begun taking a proprietary interest in my career.'
Your future is safe in my hands.
Not only is your future safe, it's also glittering.
We would visit a local restaurant called the Flying Pizza.
-All right, my pleasure.
-See you later.
These images now make for uncomfortable viewing.
In fact, the mother and daughter were known to Jimmy Savile
but it's striking, looking back now,
how he normalised physically invasive behaviour,
constantly blurring the line of what he was permitted to do.
She said, "I love your programmes,"
and the other one goes, "I think they're boring."
That's true. She said, "I think they're boring."
-Still got the Flying Pizza name on it.
-It's Saint Carlo Flying Pizza.
Let's hop out.
It's actually quite an unprepossessing building, isn't it?
I was back in Jimmy Savile's hometown of Leeds
for the first time since being there with him.
'I was with Susan, a woman who'd met him in the '70s,
'and still lives close to his old stomping ground.'
So you'd actually met him on these two occasions,
is that right?
Yes, the first time when I tested his eyes,
and the second when I delivered the specs.
I think it was 1972.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
He used to wear great big plastic glasses.
And I remember the manager called and said,
"Your specs are ready,"
and that's when he said to the manager,
"Send the one with the big knockers and the short skirt."
That was how I looked when I was about 21, 22,
-That's who you were at that time?
-That's who I was.
In those days, one of my main features was my boobs
and I always got teased about them so, yeah,
when he said, "Send the one with the big knockers and short skirt,"
it didn't mean anything.
-You know, I never thought anything of it.
-Evidently, because you went.
-Because I went, in a taxi.
Clutching a pair of specs, knocked on his door and in I went.
And then went through into this really shabby back-to-back terrace,
down Consort Terrace it was.
So, "Jimmy Savile guided tours of Leeds".
-I didn't know they were doing that.
That was April 2012. That can't have lasted very long.
Yeah, now I look at it,
I can remember going up the steps and ringing the bell.
And it was just disgusting, it was filthy.
Clothes... His tracksuits all over the floor.
Empty cereal packets everywhere. Just dirty.
So then what happened?
So then I took the glasses out of the box,
and I must have stood obviously fairly near him,
like this, to put the specs on,
and that's when he grabbed my boobs
and he actually stuck his tongue in my mouth.
And then as I stood back, he dropped his tracksuit bottoms
and said, "How's about that, then?"
And there was his...pink, wrinkly willy, as I described it.
And he said, "How's about that, then?"
Yeah, cos that was his phrase.
-That was his catchphrase.
-That was his catchphrase, yeah.
And then he just sort of got on with the rest,
put the glasses on, did...
Pulled his tracksuit bottoms back up?
Pulled his tracksuit bottoms back up,
and then just carried on as though nothing had happened.
Put the glasses on, and then he did this very brief interview
on a reel-to-reel tape thing, I think it was.
Having just exposed himself to you,
-he said, "Do you want to be on my radio programme?"
Yeah, and of course, I'm there with this famous person,
so I said, "Yeah, OK."
This afternoon, as we celebrate Jimmy Savile's requiem mass,
it is our belief that although his body is stilled in death,
his flamboyant and generous soul lives on.
I listened to Radio Leeds, and they wanted people to come forward
with stories about Jimmy Savile,
so I put forward that I'd tested his eyes as a student
and that's where I stopped the story.
-"Back in 1972, I was a very inexperienced student optometrist.
"I had to test Jimmy's eyes.
"I later then delivered his new specs to his home,
"which was full of tracksuits, bling and packets of cornflakes!"
-That's a great story, that!
Thank you very much indeed for that, Susan, I enjoyed reading that!
Everybody else was texting Radio Leeds, and I thought,
"Well, I actually met him, I did test his eyes,"
so that's all I was saying.
I missed the second half of the sentence out.
-13 different police forces
are now dealing with a catalogue of complaints
against the late Sir Jimmy Savile,
including the shocking allegation
that the TV star molested a brain-damaged girl
at the Leeds General Infirmary...
When everything was revealed,
I realised that I'd had a lucky escape.
And then, of course, I sent yet another message to Radio Leeds
to say, "Well, actually, I sent a message to say
"that he tested my eyes, but here's the full story,"
and within half an hour,
they'd sent a reporter up to my work.
It's made me feel worse now than it did 40-odd years ago.
-Oh, I'm sorry.
-No, no, I can live with it.
It just makes you think.
It had taken Susan nearly 40 years to acknowledge to herself
that what had taken place was an assault.
It was as though Jimmy Savile's sense of personality and entitlement
had been so strong in life
that she hadn't felt permitted to see her experience
for what it was.
-This has been one of the most important inquiries
in the history of this organisation.
What happened was profoundly wrong.
It should never have started,
it should certainly have been stopped.
Sexual abuse is sexual abuse.
It can never be excused.
When Dame Janet Smith published her report
into the BBC's role in the Savile affair,
among the many victims interviewed were the two women
who had written me a letter in 2000 and who I'd met for coffee.
'They'd come forward amid the tsunami of revelations
'to say that their relations with Jimmy Savile had been abusive.'
That was sort of the closest I got to getting the truth.
But at the time that I met them,
they were still describing themselves as his friends.
But I feel as though if they'd been more able to speak...
speak out that time,
I could have done more to bring out the truth while he was alive.
It was upsetting to realise that I'd actually met two victims
while Jimmy Savile was still alive.
I wondered whether if I'd handled the encounter in a different way,
they might have felt able to say more
or whether they simply hadn't been ready,
intimidated by the perception of his power.
Once he'd been unmasked,
the rumours that had circulated around Jimmy Savile in life
took on a whole new gravity.
I tried to think where I'd heard the rumours
and traced one back through my mum to my aunt,
who worked at the Mail On Sunday.
She told me she'd heard it from a co-worker called Angela Levin.
-Hi, Angela. Louis.
How do you do? Nice to meet you.
-Mind if I join you?
So, you heard that there was an interest
in disabled youngsters when?
-What year was that?
-In the mid-'80s.
When you did your first profile?
Well, I found him despicable and I found him a bully
and I found him a control freak.
He would, I was told anonymously by one nurse,
play with little girls who were paralysed from the waist down.
I mean, it seems odd that in a newspaper
where you have the resources to get that story out there
and do something about it,
that if you believed it,
that you couldn't have somehow done something?
Well, I think it wasn't the case that if you believed it,
you could do it, because the libel laws were very strong.
He was also extremely connected.
He raised £30 million,
he could threaten to not raise another penny.
You'd have to be a very brave paper to do that.
Let me present a kind of alternate reality scenario to you,
that a nurse tells you
that Jimmy Savile comes to visit her hospital,
and he molests disabled girls, right?
Which is sort of... That's what she told you, is that right?
And then you then feed that back to the investigations team,
or some senior people at the Mail,
and they go to work attempting to substantiate that,
and he's caught,
and then maybe even hundreds of victims
are prevented from ever being molested.
It's not a scenario that ever happened.
I don't think I went back and told the investigations team.
No, but I'm saying, if you had, if you'd blown the whistle...
Are you trying to blame this on me?!
No, no, I'm just trying to, in a sense...
I mean, there were lots of people...
..see if there was more we could have done.
We as a society are attempting to learn from what's happened.
Yes, I think you mustn't be overwhelmed by someone's fame,
but I think that nobody is, in the same way, you know.
He was very, very famous, he had very, very good connections,
he raised a load of money for charity.
And I think that's very intimidating.
He knew people in high places.
Jimmy Savile's power had created
an aura of invulnerability...
..so strong that, even now, after all the revelations,
there are still those under its influence...
..as I had discovered when I'd interviewed Janet Cope.
This is my wedding certificate,
and it's got Jimmy Savile on it, look.
-Oh, yeah. "In the presence of..."
That's a good photo.
That's outside the registry office,
cos I had to start the ball rolling in the registry office.
And then we went to Stoke Mandeville church, at the hospital.
Basically, he gave you away, is that right?
-He did indeed.
-As a father normally would?
Yeah, but I didn't have any relatives,
so Jim was my nearest and dearest,
so I asked him if he would give me away, and he said yes. Ready?
TAPE RECORDER CLICKS
'Today and days like this
'I think enrich the lives of human beings.
'When we get together on a day like today, it lifts us all.
'Thank you for coming, and God bless the both of you.'
Jim is now lying in an unmarked grave
on a hill in Yorkshire, and he's...
He's not recognised any more
as being the good, good person that he was.
I don't know whether you've seen it all, but it's made my hair curl.
Do you mean things that came out after he died
-about his activities?
-Yeah, that people made up. Yeah.
-Which he didn't do.
-Which you don't believe?
No, I don't believe it.
It was impossible for him to do many of the things
that he was accused of.
You've read the Stoke Mandeville report.
-Yeah, this one, yeah.
-And you didn't find them persuasive?
Many of these claims from Jim are going back to the '60s.
I mean, I was grateful if somebody gave me a pat on the bum,
but you can't apply the same rules,
because it was a different era, it was just different.
It's important to remember
that many of the allegations and the encounters
that are described are much more serious than a pat on the bum.
Go on, then, give me one.
Girls aged between 10 and 14
in which he puts his hand down
and touches them intimately, you know,
-in a totally unwelcome...
-I doubt it, I doubt it.
Do you think it's possible
that because of your close association with him
for so many years, that you've slightly lost your objectivity?
Do you think that's possible?
No. Definitely not, I don't think so.
What makes you ask that?
The discovery of Jimmy Savile's offences has meant that
anyone who knew him has the task of reappraising
that part of their life.
Shall I put a finger on the knot?
As I look back at rushes from my documentary,
I'm caught between a sense of missed clues
and an awareness of the distorting power of hindsight.
And I think how amazing it is
to realise he knows he's being recorded.
Now, then, hey! Hey, hey, hey, wonderful. Very good, very good.
What was going on there?
Well, what was going on there is called opportunity.
And I'm a great opportunist.
And if I see a lady in distress, scantily clad,
I'm the first to offer my finger to put on the knot.
-See you in the morn.
In fact, in all the hours of footage I've seen of Jimmy Savile,
there is only one section I know of
in which he doesn't appear to realise he's on camera -
when the director of my original documentary taped him
after I'd gone to bed.
In the dance halls, I invented zero tolerance.
I wouldn't stand for any nonsense whatsoever, ever.
Ever, ever, ever.
I was always in trouble with the law for being heavy-handed, always,
but I couldn't care less about that.
Ejecting people who were mucking about?
No, I never threw anybody out. Tied 'em up and put 'em
down in the bloody boiler house
until I was ready for 'em - two o'clock in the fucking morning.
They'd plead to get out!
At the time, this material was shocking because it felt
so unlike the Jimmy Savile most of us knew.
You know, if a copper came and said,
"You was a bit heavy with that kid," or those two guys, whatever,
I'd say, "Your daughter comes in here.
"She's 16, she's not supposed to come into town,
"but she does and she comes here.
"I presume you'd like me to look after her.
"If you don't want me to look after her, tell me
"and I'll let them dirty slags do what they want to her."
"All right, Jim, all right."
"All right, then. Don't give me a fucking hard time, then."
"Yeah, you're right,
"you didn't give the bastard half enough, I'll tell you, Jim."
"Thank you, goodbye." I never got nicked.
-And I've never altered.
-I've got a zero tolerance, me.
Now it feels like one of the only examples we have on film
of Jimmy Savile behind the scenes.
The Jimmy Savile his victims knew.
-Are you Sam?
-I am Sam.
-Louis. How are you doing?
-I'm good, thank you.
-Nice to meet you.
-Shall I take my shoes off?
Our paths crossed because we used to go to church
on a Saturday evening, which is where he used to go.
Because that was on the hospital premises.
It was the Stoke Mandeville chapel,
My job at church was to take the collection plate around.
There was a little presbytery room, and that's where I used to go
and get my collection plate.
And he used to go and stand in there.
So I'd go in, I'd get the plate,
which would always be behind Jimmy Savile.
So I always had to reach to get the plate.
And then... And then he would do whatever he wanted to do.
-While the service was going on...
-..he'd be back there...
The whole time. He would never sit with the congregation,
he would always be in the back room.
-Now, how old were you?
-That was about 11.
Because my grandad had stopped, um...
had had to stop abusing me about that time,
because we moved to a different house.
How old had you been when your grandfather began molesting you?
From about two.
I was in hospital a lot.
-For as long as you can remember, in other words.
It was easy for Jimmy Savile.
What he was doing was no different from what, you know,
had happened all my life, so...
He picked really easily and well.
Are you OK? I'm just aware that it's quite distressing to...
It's quite... I mean, it's a horrible thing to...
It's quite nice, actually,
that Mum has got brave enough recently
to be able to do this, because then we're grown-ups, too.
And Mum's our responsibility as much as we are hers, so...
Are you OK to go into a little more detail?
Yeah, as long as you're OK, because I'm going to say it as it is.
-I'm not going to make anything sound nice,
or...or I'm not going to soften anything.
I'm going to say the acts.
-Nobody really wants to hear them facts...
And they're real facts.
I used to go in there, there were times when...
Because I didn't have my period for a long...
You know, I was quite late. So what I used to try and do
to keep myself safe to go to church
was, my oldest sister had Tampaxes,
so I used to force the Tampaxes into myself to try and...
try and protect myself.
And I used to wear lots of pairs of knickers,
just to make it harder.
Sometimes he used to put his hands into my mouth, erm...
..while he was doing everything else,
touching wherever he wanted to touch.
I just used to think, "Just hurry up that bit of the service,"
so I could come out of the room.
But then I knew I had to go back in the room.
You know, I never looked up,
I never said to him, "Don't," because I knew he could.
I think paedophiles in general,
but especially Jimmy Savile,
he had a sort of instinct for vulnerability.
I think all paedophiles know.
I think they all know, they're so clever.
I was really backward as a child.
My grandad was the one who'd come and fight for me in school.
Fight for me when teachers would hit my head off a wall and things,
he would be the one to come and fight for me.
So it was so confusing, because that person
who set me up for everything was also my saviour.
All wrapped into one person.
I have lovely memories of my grandad,
which everybody else really struggles with,
because he took time out with me... a lot.
Now, I know now why he took his time out,
but if I'm to make that person a whole one person,
then I'm really in the trouble, because I've got no...
Where does your nice bit ever be?
And you can't do that,
you can't have a whole childhood of horrible stuff.
So I take the good bits out because it's easier to do that.
I think... I understand perfectly what you mean,
-and I feel as though it's OK to have the nice bits.
You've got to take something somewhere.
Even people who do evil things do good things from time to time.
-It doesn't make them good people.
I grapple with what Jimmy Savile did -
he molested, raped, abused hundreds of people -
and at the same time, he was someone who, when he was alive,
I called a friend, which I still struggle with.
Do you feel like you were groomed?
I think "groomed" is maybe too big a word
for what he did to me, because, um...
..he didn't abuse me, he didn't abuse...
But mentally groomed, mentally given...
He mugged you off by giving you what he wanted to give you,
and did you believe what he gave you?
I believed parts of it. I thought he was a...
I thought he was an enigmatic person,
that he had a secretive... I knew there was a secret there,
I just didn't know exactly what the secret was.
And then I feel a bit ashamed, now knowing what we know.
I feel as though, um...
-You didn't do the right thing.
-Well, I don't...
I want to stand up and say that I don't really regret that,
in the sense that I don't want
to say that I've anything to feel ashamed of,
-in a sense, because...
-But you haven't, have you?
..I didn't see anything.
I accept that I was one of many people who failed
-to see what he was about.
-How did you fail to see that?
Because even then, you looked at him, you smelt him.
His mannerisms, to me, were all really obvious.
-Perhaps that's just because you know.
It's like they say about quizzes -
-it's only obvious if you know the answer.
What are you doing here?
Don't do booze, don't do drugs,
don't do none of them foolish things that I see on your programmes.
However, I suppose it's nice to do
somebody that's a bit straight for a change.
-You'll have your work cut out being interesting.
Yeah. No, I know... Do you really regard yourself as normal?
-No. I regard myself as odd.
-I think I'm odd.
It's sometimes said that monsters don't get close to children -
nice men do.
-The altar. That's the alter there.
-Why do you call it the altar?
Because I go to sleep in it and I smile
-and it's nice to be there.
That doesn't sound like an altar to me.
-It just sounds like one to me.
Now we know the truth about Jimmy Savile, it all seems so clear.
-Give 'em a wave, I want to see...
-No, no, in a minute.
I'll tell you when to give them a wave.
Why can't we give them a wave now?
Leave it to me. Instinct tells me when to carry on.
I am the archetypal carry-er on-er.
We know how we're doing.
But in his time, he charmed royalty and prime ministers,
and millions of us who listened to him on the radio
and watched him on TV.
Cheers. That's really it. Have we forgotten anything?
Jangle, jangle, jewellery, jewellery.
And so, to understand his crimes,
we should also remember how we were beguiled.
In light of the unmasking of Jimmy Savile as a predatory sex offender, and 15 years on from the BBC documentary When Louis Met Jimmy, Louis Theroux sets out to understand how a man who was at the centre of British entertainment and charitable fundraising for decades was able to get away with a long litany of crimes.
In this reflective 75-minute film, Louis talks to some of Savile's victims and to people who worked closely with him, and re-examines moments from the original film as well as footage that has never aired before on television.