For those of you reading from outside of the UK, Jimmy Savile was a DJ and television presenter who was first awarded an OBE and eventually a knighthood for his charity fundraising work.
Many people of a similar age to Neil and myself remembered with affection from our childhood, as you will see from the comments that came in after this was posted. He presented a children’s television programme called ‘Jim’ll Fix It’, which invited children to write down a wish in a letter to Jim and he would ‘fix it’ that their wish would come true.
He died in October 2011, and a year later, in November 2012, came the first allegations that grew to Savile now being believed to be Britain’s most prolific child sex offender with over 300 potential victims.
Nobody knew about this at the time when Neil wrote the following post in 2009. – Louise (2013)
Interesting…an interesting day it has been indeed my friends,
As if in answer to my moans and groans of yesterday, today has been anything but dull. For a couple of hours this afternoon we were delighted to receive a visit from Sir Jimmy Savile himself! That’s right, the legendary knight of the realm has agreed to lend his weight and influence to our cause. Whilst the unsurprisingly informal visit yielded a great deal of humour, we spoke at length about motor neurone disease and the difficulties faced in raising awareness. But the veteran charity supporter also agreed to consider ways in which he may help us and allowed us to take several photographs to use as we wish; one of these is included below for your green-eyed admiration!
We obviously would like to thank Sir Jimmy sincerely for not only giving us his time, but also for his help in tackling the most difficult “fix it” of all time; our ultimate aim of finding a cure for motor neurone disease.
Oscar, like those who know him would expect, had his five minutes of shyness before running around the room unperturbed by such a powerful presence; save for when the jangling of the immense gold bracelet caught his attention! It will certainly be a tale to tell him when he is old enough to understand the magnitude of the event!
We will of course keep you informed of any developments that occur as a result of this meeting via The Plattitude. Incidentally, but by no means insignificantly, the unexpected gathering occurred because an inspector, a very nice chap called Mick, is one of my brother’s superiors at the West Yorkshire police force and has been friends with Sir Jimmy for over 25 years; we are obviously very grateful to both Mick and Matthew for organising it.
After today’s excitement and subsequent writing of this post, I am a very happy but very tired man. So much so that I may even let Louise do the typing tomorrow!
Enjoy the photograph, we did!
All my love,
Where to start? The day was surreal enough for us without the subsequent knowledge that he was a wolf in sheep's clothing. The people that arranged for Savile to visit the house had every intention at the time that this would be a good thing, for publicity and awareness raising potential.
I can remember being in contact with other mothers in my situation at the time, sending emails late at night to each other, desperate to think of a celebrity that would help us get the word out and spread awareness of a disease that nobody wanted to acknowledge. There’s nothing nice about motor neurone disease, it doesn’t produce any cute images or support anything fluffy that can’t speak for itself, there’s nothing sexy about it, there’s nothing that would make anyone want to acknowledge its existence far less put their name anywhere near it. Sadly charity is at the mercy of celebrity and popularity. The bigger the celebrity, the weightier the yield – and the more attractive the charity, the more attractive the celebrity. There we were, desperate mothers, sitting at our computers with our last five minutes of energy in the day, flying suggestions backwards and forwards, with our babies asleep in bed and our husbands dying in the next room. Sad times to remember.
I opened the door to Savile not knowing charity was a vehicle of trust for him, his way of hiding in full view. The fact that he used charity to hide his tracks and used people like Neil, fighting for awareness with his last breath, to build a public persona of trust just saddens and disgusts me even more.
I won’t share the photograph Neil talks of, as it means a completely different thing now as when we posed for it in 2009. – Louise (2013)
February 10, 2009 at 11:03 pm
February 10, 2009 at 11:04 pm
It’s just so … unexpected.
Danny M ’n mum Sue
February 10, 2009 at 11:44 pm
After you’re serious pondering yesterday, and your low mood, its good to know you are feeling a bit more cheerful! I hope you never forget the strength in you and how so many people are interested in what you are doing and you and you’re family’s well being. If it seems quiet at times, its probably due to eg; SHOCK of SNOW! No doubt you’re lighter mood has a bit to do with Sir Jimmy, and if he can bring more awareness for MND then that can only be a good thing.
Keep you’re spirit as high as you possibly can, so for now just imagine all the huge bear hugs you’re getting via the ‘blog’!
lots of love to you all, Danny ‘n Sue xxx
P.S. My mum won a £1 and got a kiss from him at the Leeds Mecca in 1960 when he was the DJ there.
February 11, 2009 at 12:05 am
Very impressed with your visitor Neil! Glad you enjoyed his visit and what a good name to have behind the campaign.
He looks the same as he did when I used to set classes the standard, ‘Write a letter to Jim’ll fix it’ when I was off!!
February 11, 2009 at 12:12 am
Am seething with jealousy…..what a magnificent day indeed!!
February 11, 2009 at 12:15 am
What a laugh!
Great photo too- Your expression looks like you’re about 12 and about to get a medal from him…
Be good to see you all this weekend
February 11, 2009 at 1:52 am
Way to go! and Congratulations, U3! What an unexpected pleasure!
February 11, 2009 at 2:23 am
February 11, 2009 at 3:10 am
Legends all round. What a day!
Sending you loads of love and see you soon.
February 11, 2009 at 7:25 am
-If I might suggest that Sir Jimmy was not the only ‘powerful presence’ in your house!
Good on yer Neil
Love Bryce and Jane xxx
February 11, 2009 at 10:18 am
Oh my god!
I loved Jim’ll Fix it when I was a little girl!!
So glad that the man himself is going to help fight your cause…
I can’t believe how much Oscar has grown; He looks just like you, even though he hasn’t got a beard, which I might add, is getting bigger and bigger!!!
I hope that all is as well as it can be for you, Louise and Oscar.
Big kisses and lots of love to all three of you.
I must return to ‘mum’ mode to take care of Jake who is covered from head to foot and within every nook and cranny with chicken pox. It’s bathtime this morning, that’s not going to be fun today!!
Take care of you,
February 11, 2009 at 10:44 am
I’ve got the biggest grin on my face.
February 11, 2009 at 11:02 am
oh my word! Sir Jimmy Saville in your front living room!!!!!! Who next I ask myself…..the Queen???? xxxxx
February 11, 2009 at 11:30 am
Well guys and gals, what can I say?!!!
February 11, 2009 at 11:50 am
Fantastic! What a ledge!
February 11, 2009 at 12:02 pm
Neil you Jammy swiiiiiiiiine!
Im soooooooooooo jealous
February 11, 2009 at 1:24 pm
Niel, how could I possibly be superior to Matt, such a top brother. “Supervisor” is more accurate. Glad you all enjoyed visit. As soon as Lou sends details he will get involved.
February 11, 2009 at 1:30 pm
What a legend!. Saville not too bad either…;-)
cash & scoob
February 11, 2009 at 2:56 pm
Hows about that then!!!!!
February 11, 2009 at 4:34 pm
Wow! I’m speechless. Great stuff love Dot
February 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm
Said I’d be back and it’s to find you hobnobbing with the rich and famous!! Richard had a photo taken a couple of months before he died with Anthony Worrall Thompson (not in quite the same league as Sir Jim!) but he too posted it on his blog and also brought it out to “impress” his carers from time to time!! (not sure if it worked though!).
Great news though that you will raise further awareness with the likes of Jimmy Saville behind you, it’s good news for MND sufferers everywhere. Do we mere peasants need to metaphorically doff our caps to you now that you have been rubbing shoulders with the toffs? !!
February 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm
It’ll be Showaddywaddy next…
February 11, 2009 at 10:01 pm
Ha Ha top stuff mate, what a legend!
February 11, 2009 at 10:41 pm
February 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm
NO WAY!!! From Norway.
I went to see him once in Roundhay park, him and the wombles of wimbeldon, they all came out on stage the sky went black and it absolutely pissed it down.
I think 2 of the wombles drowned in there suits lol. We all ran back to the car.
On the bright side we didn’t have to listen to the Bay city rollers.
I understand some of the references in the above paragraph you may have to Google due to the time lag, just writing it made me feel like I was describing cave paintings.
Love and best wishes from Neil.
February 19, 2009 at 1:46 am
God! what a week, im starting to flap a bit and panic and i need your help my friend.
some people have let me down for the battle of the bands and im determined the show will go on however i need to get my hands on a PA system for the bay horse.
rack your head and think of anyone who can help me
dates needed are
FRIDAY 6TH MARCH
SATURDAY 7TH MARCH
FRIDAY 20TH MARCH
SATURDAY 21ST MARCH
and if anyone reading this knows of anyone who can help i would really appreciate your help. I would hire one but this is all being done by myself and i have support but not in a hands on way.
it means alot for me to be able to do this, not just for you but for your dad and all the other people i have now met who have been touched by this illness, they are amazing people, and most of all for the future of oscar and many others in your situation right now. i dont want to let you down, i’ve done that enough over the years, and for what its worth im sorry but i wouldnt change a second that i have spent with you, even though youre the super bossiest and cheekiest deviant i have ever met hehe
love you – hi to the clan platt for me and love from me and mine
ps how random – i was in work today and had training and dave stewart from school was doing it – he said to say hello and to send you his best wishes x