Sunday 22 April 2018

Former Jim'll Fix It producer says Jimmy Savile told BBC he 'hated children'

Jimmy Savile was open in his dislike of young people - even though he was surrounded by them on shows like Jim'll Fix It and Top of the Pops, a former BBC producer says

Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile was outed as one of Britain's most prolific child sex attackers after he died in 2011

Patrick Sawer

Jimmy Savile told the BBC that he hated children - despite presenting shows surrounded by them, a veteran producer of the hugely popular programme Jim’ll Fix It has said.

The DJ and broadcaster, who was later shown to be a serial paedophile and sex abuser, was open in his dislike of young people, according to a producer who worked with him for two decades.

Roger Ordish, who had recommended against Savile being hired as the presenter of Jim’ll Fix It because he appeared to have little empathy for them, said: “He did openly state ‘I hate children’. He said it publicly to newspapers.”

Furthermore, Mr Ordish goes on to state, Savile unnerved and scared the children who appeared with him on the show.

Mr Ordish, who produced Jim’ll Fix It for its entire 19-year run, said many of the children who were guests on the show felt uncomfortable around the DJ and presenter.

But Mr Ordish said it never crossed his mind that Savile might be acting inappropriately with children, let alone abusing them.

Mr Ordish told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I did think his presence was unnerving for some children. Frightening. To me his approach was to speak down to them, or speak very little to them.

“He was creepy, but it never crossed my mind there was any kind of paedophilia going on,” he said, adding: “I do remember saying he should not be left along with children, but that would apply to the presenter of any programme.”

The producer denied ignoring what Savile might be doing, saying that on one occasion he placed the DJ in a bedroom next to his 14-year-old daughter at his home.

“That’s not the behaviour of someone who knows and who’s turning a blind eye to it,” he said.

In her review of the BBC’s handling of Savile and its response to allegations about his activities, published on Thursday, Dame Janet Smith said she was told of 17 occasions of abuse by him in connection with Jim’ll Fix It.

Dame Janet said Mr Ordish was honest and decent and had not been aware of any criminal activity by Savile. But she did state that he might have suspected something “had he applied his mind” to Savile’s behaviour.

Mr Ordish’s comments came as the veteran BBC DJ Tony Blackburn, who was sacked by the BBC earlier this week, claimed he was offered the opportunity to resign from the corporation and return to work at a later date.

 On Thursday the BBC said it had "parted company" with the Mr Blackburn because he had not fully co-operated with Dame Janet Smith’s Jimmy Savile sex abuse inquiry.

But the Radio 2 DJ, who strenuously denies any wrongdoing, says he was told that he could probably return to work "in a few months" if he quietly resigned.

The BBC did not comment on his claim.

In her report Dame Janet concluded that Mr Blackburn had been questioned by the BBC in 1971 about a complaint made against him by 15-year-old Claire McAlpine. The DJ insists he was not.

Speaking to BBC Radio Four's Broadcasting House, in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday, Mr Blackburn said he was told that by resigning "you don't cut off all ties, and we can probably bring you back in a few months".

But he said he refused, stating: "I said, 'No I wouldn't do that, because I've got nothing to hide.'"

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