Jimmy Savile, Zany British TV Host (and pervert – see update at end of article.)
Jimmy Savile was found dead at his home in Leeds October 29. He was just two days shy of turning 85.
In the United States Jimmy Savile is a relatively unknown name except to die-hard music fans or those who might have spent time in the United Kingdom.
In the UK you could not help but know Jimmy Savile. For twenty years, from its inception in 1964, Savile hosted Top of the Pops, a television music countdown show featuring hit singles. Think of a British version of a cross between Casey Kasem’s radio program American Top 40 and Dick Clark’s television show American Bandstand and that was, Top of The Pops. Savile ended his reign as a regular host in 1984.
Top of the Pops remained on the air until 2006. Almost every band in the country wanted to be on the show, as it had millions of viewers. Success on TOTP as many called it, could “make” a band overnight in the UK. Although the bands performing on Top of the Pops would lip-synch, frequently they would sing and play along live with the recorded track. The show was still a great way for the public to see up and coming bands along with the top acts in music.
“Sir” Jimmy Savile was quite a character with over the top outfits, jewelry and speech mannerisms. Jimmy will be buried November 10 in Scarborough in his gold coffin at a 45 degree angle so he can have a view of the sea.
He had an interesting and diverse life and never shied away from the public spotlight. What was less known about Jimmy is that he raised over £42 million for charity during the course of his life. He was a well loved British icon.
Click here to see an interview with Jimmy about the beginning of Top of the Pops and below are two samples from the show.
First, Sweet performing Co-Co in 1971
Next, Blondie with Sunday Girl in 1979
UPDATE 10/29/12 – It turns out that Jimmy was quite a creep and the BBC knew it.