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article imageOp-Ed: Jimmy Savile — From hero to zero — A timeline

By Alexander Baron     Nov 10, 2012 in Entertainment
Jimmy Savile died October 29, 2011, and on November 9 he received the sort of funeral a president or even a king would have envied. A year later his name is more reviled than that of many a serial killer.
Jimmy Savile was a British institution, an eccentric Englishman in the style of the Marquess of Bath, Lord Longford, Elton John, or even Prince Charles. Indeed, as well as having the common touch, he rubbed shoulders with royalty. When he died he was given a de facto state funeral. The media, including the tabloids and the heavies, were positively gushing in their praise. Now, all that is gone. Jimmy Savile's fall from grace has been as spectacular as that of Oscar Wilde, the eccentric Irishman who sealed his own fate when he tried to use the criminal law to preserve a reputation he didn't deserve.
The truth about Wilde and his disgusting sexual depravity - feasting with panthers, as he called it - was exposed in the courtroom for all the world to see. The full truth about Jimmy Savile will never be known. It is clear that some perhaps the vast majority of the allegations against him can never be proved one way or the other unless one takes the view that simply making an allegation of bad conduct is its own proof. David Icke may believe that, but Lord McAlpine's lawyer does not.
It remains to be seen how many more people will have their names dragged through the mud by Internet trolls on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere, but the following is the lie of the land with regard to Jimmy Savile, for the moment. We can expect more dirt to be thrown in due course, if only because more abuse means more and bigger potential payouts.
The far from inclusive chronology below sets out how Savile went from hero to zero in a little over a month, and how his name is being systematically erased from history, as far as this is possible in the age of the Internet.
June 15, 2012: Savile's niece Amanda McKenna and another woman who claims to have been his quasi-secret lover appear on a breakfast TV programme where they denounce claims that Savile was a sexual predator, obviously unaware of the torrent of allegations that will follow in less than 4 months' time.
September 28: Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile is announced by ITV.
October 1: Savile's nephew Roger Foster expresses dismay both at the forthcoming programme and the allegations.
October 3: In anticipation of the programme, it is announced that a wooden statue of Savile outside a Glasgow leisure centre has been removed.
October 3: The programme is screened late at night. Although it had been no secret, having been discussed in the mainstream media months before, no one could have anticipated the flood of allegations it would unleash, against both Savile and others.
October 4: A plaque outside Savile's Scarborough home is removed after being daubed with the words PAEDOPHILE and RAPIST.
October 4: Jimmy Savile And The Sexy Kids is uploaded to YouTube - a humorous song by an artist with an unspeakable name. This was not a rush effort, so he like other people had clearly been following developments behind the scenes.
October 5: It is reported that the BBC is to drop all programmes featuring Savile from its schedule, including two episodes of the series Top Of The Pops.
October 8: The BBC publishes a report with a photograph of a workman removing a sign from a Scarborough street named after Savile.
October 9: A headline in the Daily Express reports COUNCIL ORDERS REMOVAL OF SIR JIMMY SAVILE TRIBUTE, from the wall in Leeds Civic Hall.
October 9: The Metropolitan Police hold a press conference; they say they are pursuing 120 lines of inquiry, Operation Yewtree.
October 10: Overnight, the headstone of Savile's grave is removed and broken up for landfill.
October 10: The BBC removes a 1985 recording of Savile from its Desert Island Discs archive "pending the outcome of the police investigation".
October 11: There are further allegations and revelations about Savile's presence at Broadmoor Special Hospital. It is revealed he had his own set of (gold plated) keys.
October 11: Caroline Moore claims to have been assaulted by Savile at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1971, when she was a disabled teenager being treated there.
October 11: Georgina Ray disowns Savile; she had previously claimed to be his daughter.
October 15: It is widely reported that Savile made "lone visits" to the morgue at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital, with the insinuation or outright claim that he was a necrophiliac.
October 15: Labour Leader Ed Miliband calls for an independent inquiry covering all the allegations against Savile including those concerning the BBC and Broadmoor Special Hospital.
October 16: Dame Janet Smith is appointed to lead the Savile/BBC investigation.
October 17: The WRVS reports that Jimmys, the café it runs at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, is to be renamed Cafe@WRVS.
October 18: A claim is made that Savile had been a paid up member of the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange.
October 22: A decision is made to close Jimmy Savile's charities rather than simply change their names.
October 27: Savile's nephew Roger Foster says he now believes many of the allegations against his late uncle to be true.
October 27: The Catholic Church confirms it has written to the Holy See asking for Savile's papal knighthood to be removed.
October 28: Convicted paedophile Gary Glitter is arrested as part of the investigation into the alleged activities of Savile and others. He is released on bail.
October 28: The BBC reports that Savile's home at Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands has been vandalised.
October 28: The Yorkshire Post reports the removal of Savile's name from a Who's Who of Leeds at the Leeds City Museum.
October 29: Savile's nephew Vivian Savile dies aged 69 "of a broken heart".
October 29: Royal Armouries International says that its conference centre Savile's Hall at Clarence Dock has now been renamed New Dock Hall and Savile's name totally purged at a cost of £50,000.
October 29: An official inquiry begins under Dame Janet Smith, into Savile's alleged activities at the BBC and the organisation's “culture”.
October 29: A former BBC governor reveals that Savile had been banned unofficially by the Children In Need appeal more than a decade previously.
October 31: A former porter at Leeds General Infirmary tells the BBC that Savile took girls on late night trips of the hospital.
November 1: Comedian Freddie Starr is arrested in connection with the Savile investigation.
November 1: Savile's estate is frozen as alleged victims and their lawyers scramble for his money.
November 5: Scarborough councillor Colin Haddington calls for Savile's body to be dug up and cremated.
November 5: It is reported that Russell Jones & Walker solicitors have sent more than 40 "letters before action" to a number of organisations, including the BBC, on behalf of alleged victims attempting to get their hands on Savile's money.
November 6: The BBC reports that Savile's name has been removed from the list of Honorary Freemen of the Borough of Scarborough. By this time there are an alleged three hundred victims. Savile had a home at Scarborough, and was buried at its Woodlands Cemetery, his coffin inclined at 45 degrees so that he could "see the sea".
November 7: Another Savile nephew, Guy Marsden, calls for his uncle's body to be exhumed and burned.
November 8: Savile's former chauffeur and another man are arrested in connection with historic rape allegations. Both men are bailed. Greater Manchester Police say these arrests are not linked to the ongoing investigation into Savile.
November 8: On live TV, presenter Phillip Schofield hands Prime Minister David Cameron a list of alleged paedophiles in high places that he has harvested from the Internet. Cameron warns against a witch hunt.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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