Savile Low

Listening in on the great debate about the BBC's sex pests

Daisy Waugh

Jim’ll fix it for you!

And you . . . and you . . .

Not any more, he won’t.

Well no. He’s dead, isn’t he? That’s the thing. Or it was the thing. Now of course the whole thing’s spiralled into another “thing” altogether. It’s way out of control.

It’s such a shame though. When you think of all the lost innocence. We’re talking about a generation of kids, really. Let down. By the adults . . . That theme tune takes on a completely different meaning, in the light of these allegations. Because he wasn’t “fixing” anything, was he? Except his own trouser flies.

Don’t. Don’t make me think of Jimmy Savile’s trouser flies.

Did you actually see the documentary?

God, no.  But it’s stale eggs really, isn’t it? We all just assumed . . . I mean everyone at my school knew he was a perv.

Even so . . .

The guys at the BBC must have been the only people in the country not to have worked it out. The only surprise is, it wasn’t boys.

It does seem extraordinary it’s taken so long to come out. So to speak.

Well. It’s all exploded now. Turns out the BBC was a veritable hotbed . . . Vanessa Feltz, Janet Street Porter, Liz Kershaw, Sandi Toksvig . . . They were all “victims”. And can I just point out —


But can I —

No. Don’t say it, Sophy. It’s beneath you, OK? As a feminist. It doesn’t need to be said.

All right. Just that — if they were getting unwelcome attention . . . you have to fear for the rest. There can’t have been a woman in the BBC who wasn’t being groped by someone . . .

By Sir Jimmy? Is that what you think?


But we don’t know, Sophy. We simply don’t know . . . And that’s what’s so absolutely bloody awful about it. It could have been by any one of them . . . All the familiar faces, the much loved TV personalities we grew up thinking of as friends —

Did you?


Did you think of TV personalities as friends?

No! Don’t be ridiculous. Of course I didn’t.  But other people probably did . . .  Kids . . . And now we  simply don’t know who to trust any more! It’s a tectonic shift, Sophy. In our culture. The moment “trust” left the BBC building.

What the hell are you talking about? Who can’t you trust today who you trusted before all this fuss began?

Well —

Frankie Howerd? Cyril Fletcher? Bob Monkhouse — yuk! — Remember him?

Were they all BBC?

I’ve no idea! But it never crossed my mind to trust them. They were just smarmy people off the telly. Creeps. 

I’m just saying — look, I don’t know about you, but I feel personally let down. Personally let down.  By the BBC. Were our favourite presenters really ALL perverts?  It’s what we have to ask ourselves, isn’t it?

Not really.

They were familiar faces! In our sitting rooms! And now we simply don’t know WHICH of them was doing WHAT to WHOM!  

…The thought of any of them doing anything to anyone makes me feel a bit queasy, frankly.

Well. But it’s not the point.

If they could have kept the teenage girls out of it, and locked the rest of them into that hideous building in Shepherds Bush, 25 years ago, cut off the power supply and thrown away the key . . . the world might have been a better place.

Yes. In retrospect I think it might have been the best idea.

It’s one thing — having it off with kids  . . . No one’s going to condone that. No. But the rest of them? He groped me first, no she groped him. No I groped the other one  . . . They were all bright orange! Honestly, I don’t know what the fuss is about. Frankly, I should think they were lucky to find each other.

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