Jim'll Fix It (partially found Jimmy Savile television show; 1975-1994)
Jim'll Fix It is a BBC television show hosted by British television and radio personality Jimmy Savile. The premise involved working to "fix it" for Savile's guests, who would write in to request their wishes be granted, with said wishes becoming reality over the course of the episode. Its original run lasted 20 seasons, from May 1975 to June 1994, and contributed towards Savile being deemed a national treasure during his lifetime. However, the show and other programs involving Savile now live in infamy after many child sexual abuse allegations were made against him following his death in 2011.
Premise[edit | edit source]
Each episode involved letters written by the guests, mainly from children, being read out and thus helping to describe to the audience what wish each guest is requesting Savile "fix it" for them to come true. Over the course of the episode, the production crew, and individuals and groups connected to the wish, would contribute the means required to make the guest's wish come true. At the end of each segment, the guest would be given a medal by Savile, proclaiming that "Jim Fixed It For Me".
The wishes being granted greatly varied. For example, it was known that actor Peter Cushing had his wish that a new rose be given the name of his late wife be granted, with the Helen Cushing Rose being given its name as a result. Additionally, a Doctor Who special episode "A Fix With Sontarans" was created, featuring a young fan who made the wish Gareth Jenkins, the Sixth Doctor Colin Baker, and Tegan Jovanka, played by Janet Fielding. The show also featured the creation of the video game Super Trolley, the only known game to feature Savile's likeliness in the form of his caricature on the title cover. It tasked the player into completing a variety of tasks, including stacking the shelves and cleaning up spillages.
The show's original run lasted from May 1975 to June 1994, with many Christmas, New Year and Bank Holiday specials. Additionally, a further few specials would be made following the the original run's ending, including 20 Years of Jim'll Fix It Special on 2nd January, 1995; Jim Fixed It For Me on 31st December, 2000; a mini-series called Jim'll Fix It Strikes Again, which involved showcasing highlights of the original show plus "re-fixes" for some past guests; and Jim'll Fix It with Shane Richie, a tribute special broadcast on 26th December, 2011 following Savile's death on 29th October that same year.
Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal[edit | edit source]
Jim'll Fix It, as well as Savile's many other shows like Top of the Pops, contributed towards Savile being deemed a national treasure during his lifetime. He was also highly regarded for his charity fundraising, raising around £40 million for charities, and hospital work for places like Stoke Mandeville Hospital. He was also knighted by the Queen in 1990. Thus, when he passed away on 29th October, 2011, much of the United Kingdom was in deep mourning, and many tributes were made to him, including by the BBC.
Not long after Savile's death however, rumours began to spread regarding the television and radio personality's conduct throughout his lifetime, with many allegations of child sexual abuse being made against him. The BBC program Newsnight had investigated reports of sexual abuse claims against Savile immediately following his death, with various alleged victims being interviewed. This program was dropped however, with allegations of a cover-up, including to prevent compromising the tributes. Almost a year on from Savile's death, the ITV program Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile was broadcast on 3rd October, 2012, with several women that were interviewed claiming Savile sexually abused them as teenagers, with additional claims that Savile used such programs as Savile's Travels and Top of the Pops to gain access to further underaged victims.
By 11th October, numerous allegations began to be made to thirteen police forces across the United Kingdom, leading to Operation Yewtree being launched by Metropolitan Police on 19th October to investigate historical sex offences made by Savile, other celebrities like Max Clifford and Rolf Harris, and other individuals like former Stoke Mandeville Hospital medical doctor Michael Salmon. The investigation determined that Savile had at least 450 alleged victims, making him one of Britain's most prolific sex offenders. His alleged actions had no bounds, with victims ranging from both genders, and from prepubescent to adult age. Additionally, he was given free reign at places like adult high-security psychiatric Broadmoor Hospital, and Stoke Mandeville Hospital, which treated many cases of spinal injuries. Victims unable to fight back or even comprehend what was happening to them, were consistently abused by Savile during his visits. Further, allegations that Savile also engaged in necrophiliac acts in places like the mortuary in Broadmoor Hospital, also came to light.
Jim'll Fix It and sexual abuse allegations[edit | edit source]
Some of the 450 victims of Savile claimed their abuse occurred when they were guests on Jim'll Fix it. In fact, his abuse was an open secret at the BBC; a director for the show had caught Savile having sex with a sixteen-year-old girl guest, yet despite revealing what he had witnessed to BBC officials, nothing was done to prevent further misconduct.
Producer Roger Ordish claimed that he instructed staff on the show to not leave Savile alone with children, although he also stated he did this as common practice to ensure the safety of children rather than out of fear something bad would occur. He also said that Savile had a "predilection for younger females". Furthermore, Savile was alleged to have sifted through letters of children who did not appear on the show, to offer to give them special visits, including at classes with pupils who had written in, with at least 14 offences being committed in schools as a consequence. Hence, it is widely believed Savile engineered his shows so that he could gain access to and abuse countless children.
Availability[edit | edit source]
As a result of the numerous allegations made against Savile, his programs, including Jim'll Fix It, will never air on British television again. With limited home media nor many repeats of the show, as well as the sinister connotations the show now brings, it has led to many of its episodes becoming lost media. Of a total of 286 episodes, less than 50% are publicly accessible are available with the British Film Institute's archives. Nevertheless, some full episodes and segments, such as the creation of the Helen Cushing Rose and A Fix with Sontarans, have been uploaded to YouTube and other video-sharing platforms. This included a selection of episodes included in DVDs sold by TV Vault.
See Also[edit | edit source]
- Clunk-Click (partially found Jimmy Savile variety show; 1973-1974)
- Top Of The Pops (partially lost British music series; 1964-2006)
External Links[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Nostalgia Central discussing the show's premise. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- Washington Post article discussing the Helen Cushing Rose segment. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- Blog discussing A Fix with Sontarans. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- Kim Justice video concerning Super Trolley. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- BBC News article concerning the creation of Jim'll Fix It with Shane Richie. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- CNN article detailing how Savile was deemed a national treasure before his crimes were uncovered. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- BBC News article concerning the dropped Newsnight report and allegations of a cover-up. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- BBC News article reporting on the first public allegations against Savile, including by some victims who would be interviewed on Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- BBC News article reporting on ITV investigator Mark Williams-Thomas beliefs that Savile's shows were engineered to gain access to children. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- BBC News article concerning allegations being made to thirteen police forces. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- Guardian article discussing Operation Yewtree. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- Guardian article reporting on Michael Salmon's conviction as part of Operation Yewtree. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- BBC News article reporting on the 450 alleged sexual abuse victims of Savile, with variation on gender and age. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- Independent article concerning Savile abusing staff, patients and visitors, including at Broadmoor Hospital. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- Guardian article reporting on Savile allegedly abusing 60 victims during his free rein at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- Guardian article reporting on alleged necrophiliac acts made by Savile. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- Posability Magazine detailing a victim's account of abuse following her Jim'll Fix It appearance. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- Telegraph article concerning a Jim'll Fix It director catching Savile in the act and reporting it, yet nothing was done to prevent further actions from occurring. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- BBC News article reporting on Roger Ordish and his instruction not to have Savile be alone with children. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- ITV News article concerning Roger Ordish's "predilection for younger females" claim. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- Daily Mirror article reporting on Savile allegedly picking victims by sifting through unchosen letters for Jim'll Fix It. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- Telegraph article reporting on allegations that Savile engineered his shows to gain access to children. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- Segment concerning the creation of the Helen Cushing Rose, with segments featuring Savile being edited out. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- The A Fix with Sontarans segment. Retrieved 23 Aug '21
- TV Vault listings of Jim'll Fix It DVD sets. Retrieved 23 Aug '21