Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jim Fixed It for Us to Enjoy Much-Missed Family Entertainment; Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jim Fixed It for Us to Enjoy Much-Missed Family Entertainment; Columnist

Article excerpt

FOR years I've reckoned my childhood must have been either utterly deprived or privileged. You see, I can't remember writing a single letter to Jimmy Savile.

I've always assumed it was either because my pocket money couldn't stretch to a stamp, or because my life was so complete that I never craved a Jim Fixed It For Me badge. I certainly didn't want any of the things that other children begged him for; like riding in Doctor Who's Tardis, singing in a studio with Abba, or having a meal on a rollercoaster. What could possibly have been wrong with me? Then, after Sir Jimmy's death on Saturday, I realised the problem: I'm just too old. The programme didn't start till 1975, by which time I was already in my 20s. It was my daughter who wrote to Jim'll Fix It asking if he could fix it for her to marry Mr Blobby. Yet I've always felt Jimmy Savile was an essential part of my childhood.

Savile each The Pops my ultimate dance troupe I might have been briefly exposed to his weirdness in 1960, through a music show on Tyne Tees Television called Young At Heart, though I clearly didn't have the heart for it, as I can't even remember the fact that he changed his hair colour every week. He certainly wasn't the talk of Priory Junior Mixed.

Instead my memories of him begin in my teenage years: Savile was the lucky man who each week on Top Of The Pops introduced me to my ultimate boyhood fantasy, the dance troupe Pan's People. I adored his unpredictable, mad banter and I was always disappointed when he was replaced by one of the blander DJs. Most of the time, I had no idea what he was talking about, but in a world of over-hyped mid-atlantic pretension, his eccentric Northern bluntness was reassuringly grounded.

So I can understand the outpouring of national nostalgia this weekend - you'd have thought the Queen had died. Jim'll Fix It staggered on until 1994, which is an incredibly long run for a television series, so he must have touched huge swathes of the population, including the editors of the newspapers and news bulletins that gave his death such prominence. …

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