Thursday, 15 October 2015

Jimmy Savile's Yorkshire Speakeasy

How very difficult it is to find any useful information about some of the shows Jimmy Savile was involved in. Especially those cited in the claims made in Exposure. Try googling Jimmy Savile Speakeasy and you'll come up a fair bit. Google Jimmy Savile's Yorkshire Speakeasy, and you'll get just two listings and neither of them are dated 10th February 1978.

Here's the ITV letter to the BBC again P175 App 12 Pollard

Now, thanks to Moor Larkin and the post graduate student in Huddesfield, we know that several episodes of JSYP were made. What we don't know is WHEN they were recorded, a bit like Karin Ward's Clunk Click ! 
Thanks to a bit of earlier research on my part, I've been able to establish that the particular episode ITV refer to, was indeed broadcast on Friday 10th February 1978. Here it is in the North-Western edition of the Radio Times, something the BBC genome does not appear to have in it's database.
For those of you not familiar with British television, we have regional variations here, and while Manchester viewers had to endure 'Sit Thi Deawn' at 10.20pm, Yorkshire folk had Jimmy and guests. Unfortunately, my North-West version does not confirm that show concerned the blind. Maybe someone can help me out with that one, because I've been searching for days.

I've tried every which way to get this information. I've googled all the guests cited in the University dissertation and I've googled the crew. And then I had a brainwave ! 
Nick, no not Pollard, the other one; Nick Vaughan-Barratt or plain Nick Barratt as he was known in 1978 (see above)

NVB had teased us all for a few minutes when we first came upon the Pollard report. He of the, no we haven't prepared an obit for JS cos I worked with him and I saw a 'dark side', memo circa 2010 
Jimmy was 'very ill' in May 2010 six months after being questioned by the Police in SMH. The BBC hadn't got an obituary pre-prepared and not because of any 'dark' secrets but merely because, well, quite frankly, he just doesn't seem to have been worthy enough ! Read on 

And then the killer blow ! He just wasn't a big enough star 

 But, let's get back to that show/s he worked on with Jimmy shall we ? Because it seems that whatever, else was in Barratt's mind in 2010, underage sex was NOT involved and, what's more, he'd never even HEARD of any such claims until Exposure.

After shows there were NO PARTIES 'he just disappeared' 

The women in the production team would think Savile a bit 'creepy' ? Strange how Sue Thompson couldn't bring herself to tell one of the OTHER women what she'd witnessed in the dressing room after the show !!! 

You know, in my mind I'd kind of concluded that the only people around that day in that Leeds studio was Sue Thompson, a young girl and Jimmy Savile. Funny how the makers of Exposure sort of led me to think this !

I have finished with my Savile's Speakeasy yet, although I may be heading south in my next post ! In the meantime, I'll leave you with a few views of BBC Yorkshire then and now 

 OMG look closer at my 99 steps photo eerie or what ?

I knew those steps would come in handy ! I had been told that Yorkshire TV was there in the distance, but I like to think fate had a small hand in my own Savile's travels a few years ago


  1. Well done Rabbitaway. These stories are really so full of surprises aren't they. Just when I think I've figured it all out, up pops an unavoidable fact to kick my arse... :-D

    Looks like I may be needing an addendum myself.

    1. Wonder how ITV did it Moor ? They've homed in on ONE precise show on one particular date. Either Hannah had already unearthed this one or someone got to the film archives pretty sharpish after Meirion's Newsnight was pulled. All will be revealed eventually !

  2. Bit of a correction Rabbit.
    The interior studio shot is of the early Yorkshire Television, a commercial TV station not the BBC. You can clearly see the Yorkshire TV logo on the cameras and also read caption on the camera saying Yorkshire TV. BBC Yorkshire was housed in an old church on Woodhouse Lane in Leeds until it moved into it's new studies a few years back. ITV Yorkshire Studios are still at their original location at Kirkstall Road in Leeds. You are correct that they are located at the bottom of the 99 steps.

    1. Thank you Anon' corrections are always welcome. That still comes from youtube good to have people in the know offering factual information.

  3. Clunk Click's (the main studio part with the audience & guests, not the recorded inserts) were recorded on the thursday before broadcast - for instance the Gary Glitter edition was definitely recorded at the BBC Theatre on Thursday 14th March 74, and broadcast on Saturday 16th.

  4. As I've said before, I just don't buy it that a star could be abusing underage girls for years in unlocked dressing rooms in TV Studios and for it not to be common knowledge amongst the crew.
    Dressing rooms are not as private as some people might think, people are coming in and out all the time. Studios are hotbeds of gossip.

    As is typified above, there was plenty of gossip, but it was all nebulous "he's a bit weird" stuff. In the 1960s and 70s for a man of Savile's age simply not to be married was cause for snide gossip, let alone any other eccentricities.

    I still reckon much of Savile's public persona (cheeky chappy loved by all the girls) was to try to make up for the fact that he was a middle-aged man in a young man's game - Disc Jockeying.
    In 1978 he was 52 years old - three times the age of many of his target audience.
    Had he dressed and behaved like the average 52 year old in 1978 he would have seriously struggled to sustain a TV career in pop.
    By way of comparison with TV presenters of the same era, he was the same age as David Coleman and David Jacobs (who's TV pop career was ending as Savile's began) two years older than Michael Barratt, while Barry Davies was over a decade younger.

    1. Thanks John, we have to keep re-iterating the obvious until someone with the guts decides to take this mainstream. And, not for just one of two articles, the whole way !