James Wilson Vincent Savile (31 October 1926 – 29 October 2011) was an English DJ, television and radio personality and charity fundraiser. After his death, hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse were made against Savile and, after being investigated, the police concluded he had been a predatory sex offender and possibly one of Britain's most prolific.
- [As a nightclub manager in Leeds, late 1950s] A high-ranking lady police officer came in one night and showed me the picture of an attractive girl who had run away from a remand home. "Ah," says I, all serious, "if she comes in I'll bring her back tomorrow but I'll keep her all night first as my reward." The law lady, new to the area, was nonplussed. Back at the station she asked "Is he serious?"
It is God's truth that the absconder came in [to the club] that night. Taking her into the office, I said, "Run now if you want but you can't run for the rest of your life." She listened to the alternative and agreed that I hand her over if she could stay at the dance, come home with me, and that I would promise to see her when they let her out.
At 11.30 the next morning she was willingly presented to an astounded lady of the law. The officeress was dissuaded from bringing charges against me by her colleagues, for it was well known that, were I to go, I would probably take half the station with me.
- From As it Happens (1974 autobiography), as quoted in "Jimmy Savile: a strange and sordid life unravels after death" The Telegraph (28 October 2012).
- Misidentified as Love is an Uphill Thing, a later reprint, in the source.
- [When asked about his freedom from emotional attachment to other people.] The tough thing in life is ultimate freedom, that's when the battle starts. Ultimate freedom is what it's all about, because you've got to be very strong to stand for ultimate freedom.
Ultimate freedom is the big challenge, now I've got it, and I can tell you there's not many of us that have got ultimate freedom. I've got some considerable clout as well, all over. That is where the battle, the personal battle starts now.
I've managed to handle complete and ultimate utter freedom. It's marvellous but it's dangerous.
It would be easy to be corrupted by many things, when you've got ultimate freedom, especially when you've got clout. I could be corrupted.
- Interviewed by Anthony Clare for his BBC radio 4 programme In the Psychiatrist's Chair in 1991, transcript published by Mandarin in 1992, extract from "How Jimmy Savile revealed all in the psychiatrist’s chair" Channel 4 News (2 November 2012).
- Louis Theroux: So, why do you say in interviews that you hate children when I've seen you with kids and you clearly enjoy their company and you have a good rapport with them?
Jimmy: Right, obviously I don't hate 'em. That's number one.
Louis: Yeah. So why would you say that then?
Jimmy: Because we live in a very funny world. And it's easier 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.
Louis: Are you basically saying that so tabloids don't, you know, pursue this whole "Is he/isn’t he a paedophile?" line, basically?
Jimmy: Yes, yes, yes. Oh, aye. 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, so I can tell you from experience that the easy way of doing it when they're saying "Oh, you have all them children on Jim'll Fix It", say "Yeah, I hate 'em."
Louis: Yeah. To me that sounds more, sort of, suspicious in a way though, because it seems so implausible.
Jimmy: Well, that's my policy, that's the way it goes. That's what I do. And it's worked a dream.
Louis: Has it worked?
Jimmy: A dream.
- When Louis Met Jimmy (BBC documentary broadcast April 2000), quoted in "When Louis asked Jimmy about being a paedophile" New Statesman (3 October 2012/3 August 2021)
- [When asked if "rumours that he had been a psychopath, practised necrophilia and was into young girls might turn out to be true" in 2001.] Bollocks to my legacy [...[ If I'm gone that's that . . . Whatever is said after I'm gone is irrelevant.
- An interviewer once asked what I did as part of my voluntary work [there] and I said, "Everything, from taking milk into the wards, to taking the lately deceased from the wards," and that suddenly became "he’s into" necrophilia. But that doesn’t bother me at all.
- Anthony Clare asked me my feelings towards children, and I said, ‘I couldn't eat a whole one . . . I hate them! [...] But that is because I want to shut up someone who's trying to go down that dirty, sordid road with questions like that.
- [After being informed of an unnamed 1960s pop singer sleeping with 12 to 14 year olds.] Yes. I would never have time to excuse anything like adults being into children. In fact I'd rather not even opinionate on this. I’ll leave it to the Anthony Clares of this world to sort out the psychology of child abuse. But I will stand up and say this sort of thing is sickening, not part of my world at all.
- Quoted by Joe Jackson in "Interview with the alleged paedophile" The Irish Times (20 October 2012). Jackson quotesfrom his own 2002 interview with Savile.
- My business, there's women looking for a few quid, we always get something like this coming up for Christmas, because we want a few quid for Christmas, right.
And normally you can brush them away like midges and it’s not much of a price to pay for the lifestyle.
- [On Stoke Mandeville Hospital] I own this hospital, NHS runs it, I own it, and that's not bad.
- Because I've never done anybody any harm in my entire life, 'cos… there's no need to [...] No need to chase girls, I've thousands of them on Top of the Pops, thousands on Radio 1. No need to take liberties with them, out of the question, and anyway it's not my nature.
- When you’re doing Top of the Pops and Radio 1, what you don't do, is assault women, they assault you, that's for sure, and you don't have to, because you've got plenty of girls about, and all that, so dealing with something like this, is out of the question and totally wrong, full stop
- Jimmy Savile quoted in "Jimmy Savile: 'I’m a victim – women assaulted me'" The Scotsman (16 October 2013). Quotes originate from a police interview (1 October 2009) at Stoke Mandeville hospital in Buckinghamshire released after Savile's death under freedom of information legislation.
Quotes about Jimmy Savile
- Late on the night of our last ever interview, almost a year before his death, Savile was slumped in his armchair, sucking on a giant cigar and drinking a succession of double whiskies. He maintained that he had only started drinking alcohol after his quadruple heart bypass in 1997. Perhaps it was the scotch, but he was in an unusually reflective mood, troubled even, when he suddenly launched into a bitter and totally unsolicited diatribe about the conviction of Gary Glitter.
He was adamant that the glam rock star, real name Paul Gadd, had done nothing wrong beyond having "a few dirty pictures" on his personal computer. Savile proceeded to lay the blame for Glitter's demise squarely with the press.
I countered that the singer had, in fact, been convicted and imprisoned for a series of sexual abuse charges involving minors. We were seated in the front room that overlooked Scarborough Bay. That was where I left him.
- Dan Davies "‘Why was I so obsessed with him?’: my seven years in search of Jimmy Savile’s secrets", The Guardian (9 October 2023)
- The book In Plain Sight:The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile (Quertus) by Dan Davies was first published in 2014.
- Even at the height of his fame, when he counted pop legends, politicians and royalty among his friends, he had still been one of them at heart, re-using his teabags and washing his shirts in the hand basins of hotels.
- Frank Furedi, Moral Crusades in an Age of Mistrust: The Jimmy Savile Scandal, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, , 2013. DOI: 10.1057/9781137338020