If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Guys and Gals

How's about this, then, guys and gals?
Now then, now then, now then.
And that weird yodelling thing he did.

I met Jimmy Savile several times while working in Leeds (I was a hospital porter for a while), but only spoke to him once.  It was coming up to my Mum's 70th birthday, and my Dad and I (being lousy cooks) had ordered her a special cake from the local bakery.  It was to be decorated with an image of Guisborough Priory, which was the backdrop to all of their wedding photographs, and had a special significance to Mum.  We took a wedding photo to the bakery, they said they could do it, and a week later we went up to collect it.

As we were paying for it, into the shop burst Jimmy Savile and a young lady of about (I would guess) 20 years old.  He was in the usual ghastly nylon tracksuit, and she was wearing very little, considering it was October in the North of England.  Short shorts, a halter top and stacked sandals, if I remember correctly.  He did all the 'what's all this then' business, and when we explained he asked - no, ordered - the girl to go next door to the newsagent and get a birthday card.  He asked my Mum's name, wrote the card, and signed it with the usual 'Jimmy $avi£e' flourish.  Then he was off to another shop.  Working the dates back, this would have been early October in 1987, and JS would have been 60 years old.  He certainly seemed to have plenty of energy.  The girl seemed totally in awe of him, and obeyed his instructions instantly, but there was little affection between them.  I remember wondering at the time what the relationship between them could have been.  Paid assistant, young niece, friend, lover?  None of them quite seemed to fit.

I found the birthday card when I was clearing out my Mum's flat.  I still have it somewhere.  I don't think it will be going on eBay any time soon, though.


  1. How do you begin to explain to a foreigner who/what/why JS was? And what he actually was?

  2. Good question. The more I see of him on TV, the more I wonder what the hell we were thinking of.

  3. I met him too a mere 6 yrs ago, also in Leeds when I used to work near the city centre. Definitely something of the night (not Knight) about him, big time. (My radar warning receiver was buzzing away in my head).


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