In a previously unpublished interview given just before his death last year, Jimmy Savile admitted that his reputation would collapse after his death, saying that he was “not a straight punter” and would soon be regarded as “crooked”.
The JC has obtained the transcript of the interview about his work with Jewish charities. For reasons which remain unclear, the newspaper which commissioned the interview refused to publish his admission.
Asked what he would choose if someone could “fix it” for him, Savile said he would like a “telephone in heaven”. When the interviewer asked why, Savile responded: “Just leave it at that. That’s the trouble with you fellas [reporters], you always want to delve and go further.”
Savile then declared that he was “not a straight punter. When I’m gone
they’ll say, ‘I always thought he was straight but he wasn’t — he was crooked.’”
Leeds Jewish Welfare Board this week removed a gold plaque in Savile’s honour from its Tree of Life at the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Community Centre.
Savile, who once described himself as “the most Jewish Catholic you will ever meet,” raised money for charities including Ravenswood and the Laniado Hospital in Netanya.
He handed over a £5,000 cheque to Laniado at a 2005 fundraising dinner at Leeds’ United Hebrew Congregation. Laniado UK chief executive Simon Silver said the DJ had never visited the Israeli hospital.
Savile attended a batmitzvah party in Cheadle, Cheshire, in 1968. They included Pearl and Harold Gruber’s daughter Sharon. The family later recalled that Savile had been “wonderful. One of the boys at the party really wanted to be a disc jockey and nearly drove him mad,” said Mrs Gruber.