Sunday 19 November 2017

Colourful television star never forgot his strong connections with Ireland

Liam Collins

Liam Collins

For years, the colourful, cigar-chomping Jimmy Savile, who claimed "I invented disc jockeying", came to Ireland to take part in an annual charity walk for the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) in Dublin.

He was invited by Valerie Goulding, who had established the Clontarf clinic. The event, which began in the 1960s, was sponsored by the Evening Herald.

Long before his television programme Jim'll Fix It, Savile was known to generations of young Irish people because of his role with Radio Luxembourg, the off-shore radio station.

Through the annual walk he got to know many of the showband stars and singers of that era, like Dickie Rock, Sean Dunphy, Tony Kenny and radio star Larry Gogan.

Years later, when he had become Sir Jimmy Savile, he could still recall the various routes taken by the CRC walk through central Dublin.

He was invited to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the CRC but unfortunately was unable to attend.

In an interview with writer Deirdre Purcell, he spoke of his mother 'The Duchess', as she was known, and how he had just taken delivery of his ninth Rolls Royce.

"I'm accountable only to the Guv'nor and when the time comes and I stand in front of the table and He says, 'what a bastard you've been -- all that crumpet you've had'. I'll say 'ere, hang about! What about the scanner I bought for Stoke Mandeville and what about this and that'. I'll put up a good fight," he said.

Sunday Independent

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