A Life of uninterrupted success
SIR JIMMY SAVILEIn 1990, after years of being put forward by Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, Savile was given his knighthood. That year, the Vatican also gave him the honour of Knight Commander of St Gregory the Great.But by the end of the 1990s, Savile’s showbiz star was slipping. By the time the documentary maker Louis Theroux came to film him, Savile was no more than a nostalgic curiosity. In 2000, Theroux was allowed into the flat where Savile’s mother had lived. Even 27 years after she’d died, it was obvious he was still much attached to her. Savile also revealed strange habits such as only travelling with one pair of underpants which he’d wash in the sink every night.This documentary and the persistent but never published rumours meant that in his twilight years, the view held by many of the fading star shifted from odd to creepy. The fact that he said he didn’t own a computer to stop anybody thinking he was downloading child pornography did little to reassure. In 2009 he received an honorary degree in the arts from the University of Bedfordshire for his lifelong support of the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.At the age of 84, in October 2011, Savile succumbed to pneumonia and diedHe was buried in a gold coffin.
At 2pm, on 9 November 2011 a funeral cortege moved slowly through the city of Leeds. The streets were lined with mourners:“He were absolutely worshipped by thousands and thousands of people. You couldn’t move in Leeds when it was his funeral. The seats were packed solid, you know, the traffic was stopped, everything stopped.Dennis Lemmon, Former nightclub employeeBecause of the money Savile had raised through charity for the hospital, the flags at the Leeds General Infirmary were flown at half-mast.But Savile had hinted during his life that he was no saint and that he had fully expected to end his career an outcast and a pariah.But only in death would the allegations against Savile be revealed.