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Jimmy Savile

From Academic Kids

Sir Jimmy Savile OBE (born James Wilson Vincent Savile in Leeds on October 30, 1926) is a British DJ and television personality. He is best known for his BBC television show Jim'll Fix It where he made the wishes of members of the public (mainly children) come true. A bachelor, he lived with his mother (who he refers to as "The Duchess") until her death and has kept her bedroom exactly as it was when she died.

A former coal miner, dance hall manager and semi-professional sportsman (he raced in the 1951 Tour of Britain cycle race and was a wrestler), Savile started off his DJ career working for Radio Luxembourg, working there from 1958 to 1967.

On January 1, 1964, he presented the first televised edition of Top of the Pops in Manchester. He presented the television programme Jim'll Fix It from 1975 to 1994. He is also well remembered for a long running series of commercials for British Rail and for the "Clunk Click Every Trip" Public Information films.

He joined BBC Radio 1 in 1968, where he initially presented Savile's Travels and the discussion show Speakeasy. His best-remembered contribution to Radio 1, however, is the Sunday lunchtime show Jimmy Savile's Old Record Club, where entire top tens from years gone by were played. The format was similar to Alan Freeman's Pick of the Pops show. It began in about 1973 (initially called The Double Top Ten Show) and ended in 1987, at which point he left Radio 1 after 19 years, although he subsequently revived his Radio 1 shows for commercial Gold-format stations.

In 1971 he received his OBE, which he always subsequently appended to his signature, and in 1990 he received a knighthood, making him "Sir Jimmy Savile". He has carried out a significant amount of charity work, including raising money for the Stoke Mandeville Hospital where he also worked as a volunteer porter. In total he has helped raise over 40 Million.

In 1994 Chris Morris announced on BBC Radio 1 (as a joke) that Savile had collapsed and died; this prompted legal action.

His catchphrases include "how's about that, then", "now then, now then" and "guys and gals". He has frequently been spoofed for his distinctive appearance (track suit, lots of jewellery, cigar and masses of white hair). Sir Jimmy was also the subject of a Louis Theroux documentary, made in 1999.

He was named as one of the Radio Times' Top 40 most eccentric TV presenters of all time in July 2004.

Sir Jimmy also has one of the most commonly misspelt names in showbiz. It is Savile with one 'l' (as in Savile Row), not two.

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