Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Brian Neil's Report, then and now

In October 2012 the McAlpine's tragedy was given the Yewtree treatment. Out of nowhere, Jimmy Savile became the prime suspect for the role of a DJ in Claire's diary.
This is how Brian Neil described the sad affair in his 1972 Report.

We are not told WHO the DJ is or 'from' where he's alleged to have taken 'any girl home from' !
So, now we KNOW a complaint was made by Mrs McAlpine and Bill Cotton spoke to the man in question. We don't KNOW who he is, BUT the newspapers report him as having an 'agent'. Thanks to Moor's excellent find and subsequent evidence produced in the comments, we can safely deduce that whoever this man was, he was NOT Jimmy Savile.

 Indeed, one could suppose that this person was NOT even employed by the BBC at the time. That's IF this 'BBC spokesman' actually said this that is !

Just another minor, insignificant, detail that is deliberately missing from any reportage now. Here's how Davies (the man who, according to himself, knew Savile better than anyone), spun it in his book 

I could not locate the article indicated in the footnote (18) from the Telegraph 16/10/2012. Perhaps it has been removed for some legal reason, who knows ? Hard to know if this 'source' was there when Savile is alleged to have 'sent Crocker up'. My guess, is he wasn't, a perfect subject for another FOI request methinks.

Davies continues in his anti-BBC pitch in reference to Neil's report and how the issue was treated by bosses at the time.

I haven't been able to trace the Telegraph article dated 5th June 2013 either. The Mail provides a link that leads nowhere.

Davies and his ilk are all for attacking the BBC. They forget that the allegations made back then were investigated by the Police. Yes, the report is 'heavily redacted' but the author explains the need for sensitivity not that such a thought would occur to the Meirion Jones's of this world. The BBC were duty bound to protect not only young audience's on it's premises. It had to protect it's own employees from scurrilous accusations that could wreck not only the individual concerned but his employer's good name too.
It is interesting that Savile was NOT removed from his job as main presenter of Top of the Pops. Indeed, by 1975 he was presenting Jim'll Fix it a show that mostly involved children. Would that be even possible, had HE been named in that diary? I think not.
Here's an extract from the Mirror the day before Claire McAlpine's inquest. The Police obviously reached the same conclusion as Neil a year later !

'Police have decided NOT to call named in the diary ... '

Oh, and a trivial matter really but I just can't resist adding this gem of incompetence post October 2012. An image from the Mail article above dated 6th June 2013

Amazingly, all these people bar one, appear to be in the exact same place in the exact same clothes, six years after this !

I need a rest now, but I'll be back with more screws of the world circa 1970 - 1974. Try not to get all strung up now guys and gals


  1. I love the "second from the right" caption in the Mail-pic... totally unnecessary & also completely wrong!
    I think this is the broken-link from the Mail but I'm too 'relaxed' to read the article in question so shall leave it in your capable paws:

    1. Apologies, Bandini. I seem to have missed your comment before posting chunks of rubbish below. But you might still be interested in the final three paras.

  2. So, Davies' footnote 18 & 19 lead to the article titled "BBC Warned 40 Years Ago of Risk to Teenage Girls" in the Telegraph. Is that right?

    I've had a bit of a search, and several sites have the first few paras, but no more.

    "Jimmy Savile: BBC warned 40 years ago of risk to teenage girls The BBC was officially warned more than 40 years ago it was putting girls in the Top of the Pops audience at risk of sexual predators. By Robert Mendick, and Edward Malnick 05 Jun 2013

    “A leading QC led an investigation into sexual misconduct at the corporation’s flagship music programme in 1972 following concerns at the time and uncovered what he described as “immorality”.

    “But the inquiry’s conclusions were kept secret for four decades and only unearthed after a Freedom of Information request by The Telegraph.

    “The emergence of the 64-page report – which was circulated to the then director general and chairman – will further fuel allegations that the BBC failed to protect teenage girls from Jimmy Savile, the corporation’s then most feted star who was unmasked last year as Britain’s most prolific sex offender. It will also bolster a series of legal claims being brought by Savile’s victims against the BBC….

    “A BBC spokeswoman said: “In 1971 allegations of corruption at Top of The Pops were made by a newspaper. The BBC took these allegations extremely seriously and commissioned Brian Neill QC to prepare an independent report to establish what had happened…."

    Your Mail article appears to be quoting heavily from the Telegraph, and includes this line...

    'None of the allegations of misconduct referred to Jimmy Savile.' (Quotation marks from the Mail)

    Then my tinfoil hat started sparking. Look at the '1977' photograph! Never mind the date, for a moment. The photo's been altered, hasn't it? I mean, not some modern photoshop effort, but a good old-fashioned scissor-and-tape job. Look at the line starting beneath his right foot, going up close(ish) to his right trouser leg, and finally shooting up from his left ear to the top.

    Why the hell would the Mail want to use a picture in which the girl in question had been 'removed' from the picture, only to run a picture of her alone in the same outfit further down the page? But they couldn’t possibly have performed such an edit in this day an age. And they obviously had the image with both her and JS for their article on Claire a few months later.

    Can anyone with a better eye for this stuff suggest what's going on with the pictures? Should we even trust the one with Claire in the middle? Could a picture of Claire dancing alone (taken with the one shown in the Mail - same clothes) have been added to the group? Do I need to up my medication?

    1. Maybe he just had a couple of bowls of Ready Brek, Misa! He's positively glowing!

      The '1977' pic certainly looks odd, but maybe it's a combination of the microphone-lead & a phenomena of light I remember my old art teacher babbling on about (until his nervous breakdown!) whereby an unseen source creeps around the edges of the object in front of it, such as a planet.

      (He was totally obsessed by this & his personal definition of what a line is, barking at a class of bewildered 11-year olds: "What is a LINE?!? A line is... a stretched DOT!!!"
      Week after week of the loon until art could be dropped & an escape made.)

      It's quite possible that both photographs have been fiddled around with, though, even if just to 'tidy up' the image rather than fabricate. The pic with Claire is strange as it's almost as though she is the performer, hogging the limelight... And if Savile was to be shown a photograph of her - and not remember her - you'd have thought this one might have been used. Then again, she was just one of many girls, several similarly dressed & no doubt all behaving in the same excited way, so how to distinguish between 'em?

      I tried zooming in on the photos looking for clues, but with so much pop poppetry on display I'm afraid I forgot what it was I was supposed to be looking for! Yoiks!

    2. Now then, now then, now then!
      'Ave a look at this pic - it's the '1977' picture with Claire glued-on over the top! You can even see the glue!!!

      She's almost holding Savile's hand!

    3. No. Looking closely, it's clear to me that the "glue" photo is the original, the one in which Jimmy's figure was cut and moved to produce the 1977 picture. In that one, Jimmy and the people to his left have fairly obviously been cut out and moved rightwards, while in the "glue" photo, the glue marks on the girl in the long dress correspond to Jimmy's arm.
      I'd guess that the cut-out was pasted on the original, photographed and removed before the glue set.

    4. This was probably all to remove the poor dead girl from publicity files; the decent thing to do I suppose at the time.

    5. Maybe Moor, and I accept that that is the most obvious explanation. However, having spent longer than any sane man should have spent staring at these pics, here are a few reasons for my caution:

      1) the photos which include Savile are of a noticably inferior quality to the others. They are 'photos of damaged photos'.

      2) why would they - the Mail or anyone else - have been using the pictures anyway (and hence why a need to remove Claire from them)? Why choose a picture with her in only to remove her from it?

      3) we've seen how the press used a crudely edited photo WITHOUT Claire; would they happily edit a photo to INCLUDE her too?

      4) the 'glue' stain. Smack bang over Claire. Why?

      5) the 'glue' pic (with Claire, but with the 'glue' wiped off) has obviously been fiddled around with. There is a clear 'score-line' in top right-hand corner right above Savile's head & several other discrepencies as detailed below.
      Whatever it is, it is not an original, untouched photo of Savile on stage with Claire & the others. Wouldn't negatives have been dug out, copies made, instead of these crinkled, wrinkled & stained pics passing into the archive?

      6) the date given for the pics is not one we'd expect Savile to have been present.

      7) Claire looks directly into camera for both pics with Savile at her side. He is off with the fairies.

      According to the Robert Greenfield-article in Rabbitaway's 'Sex, Death & Top of the Pops' post: "Her picture [prior to her death] appeared over a newspaper article about the 'Top Pop dollies'." (It seems possible that - given the thrust of that article - she would have been snapped at TOTP.)
      It's a shame we don't have this article/pic, nor those NOTW-articles from after her death.

  3. My word, good burrowing guys ! That CM is well dodgy isn't it. Around the time of her death it was mainly Savile and Tony Blackburn who presented the shows, Ed Stewart did one too. Tony and Jim did alternate weeks. As for the photo !!!

    1. They have the same '1977' pic with Claire (but with the glue wiped-off!) here:

      Not sure why they'd have both. Just a thought, and in the interests of fairness, but I suppose the photo WITH her could be the original, and that she was edited-out after her death.

    2. Well, would you Adam and Eve it. Good work, Bandini! That's the same picture alright. But you're right, of course - it's a question of whether she was edited out, or edited in...or one after the other.

      Both versions on Alamy are credited to contributor Bill Cross/Daily Mail, date taken 2 February 1971. I wonder whether he took it, and whether he's still active. A quick search has turned up pictures of his from the 80s.

      We could probably do with Chris to confirm that the date would fit with one of Jim's appearances, but I believe all episodes from that period are lost.

      Presumably, 1977 is a simple typo, perhaps mistaking a 1 for a 7, but if there are any episodes from that period, they might at least give a match on a hair style.

    3. I've been going mad staring at these photos, Misa... you have your revenge for the Ian Cutler 'book'!

      Alamy have a couple of snaps of Claire/Samantha alone (and another dancer, too) and I'm wondering if these haven't been pasted in to the group-shots, as she is quite obviously staring at the camera (or playing up to it).
      The pic with the glue wiped off, for example: Claire seems to be in black & white, whereas the rest of the photo is almost sepia-toned. The glue being tipped over her & her alone seems to be a hell of a coincidence.

      Whatever, we've certainly seem it proven that photographs presented to us by the media are quite obviously not always what they claim to be.

      P.S. Savile dishing out pills? I don't think so.

      P.P.S. Regarding the photographer responsible, I'm surprised that TOTP would have allowed one from the Mail to be present when they had their own 'official' stills-photographer: Harry Goodwin.

    4. Misa, I've just been searching for TOTP from that period; I assume that the 2nd Feb. photos would come from the show transmitted the 4th Feb. (Where's Chris?!?)

      There are a couple of cracking clips:
      Elton John - 'Your Song' [live, but no intro/crowd]

      Cliff Richard - 'Sunny Honey Girl' [I bloody love this!]

      If you look there are at least 3-versions on YouTube, one in high-quality, but who is that presenting? Looked like Ed Stewart to me, but it may actually be a German presenter of a show that used TOTP-clips...

      According to Pan's People, the presenter for the 4th Feb. episode was Tony Blackburn:

  4. I'll just stick this pic up with a couple of annotations of what seem to be signs of manipulation of the 'Claire glue' photo:

    I think the whole thing is a composite, possibly with both Savile and Claire added seperately to a shot from an episode he didn't even present... or I may be going mad!
    Enough of this, I'm off to listen to Britain's answer to Elvis!

  5. Right, Bandini, sorry (well, a little sorry) to have left you to do all the donkey work. It would be kind of nice to find an experienced photographer/photograph manipulator to confirm/explain all this, but I'd say it's pretty close to being obvious even to the untrained eye.

    Tentative conclusion:
    This is a case of historic photographic abuse.

    As Mrs G notes, it looks pretty much certain that Jim was placed over Claire in one version of the picture. The glue from his arm would seem to match. But I’m not sure we should call the picture with Claire ‘the original’. It might be. But we know we’re looking at a picture that has been doctored at least once.

    You mentioned the mismatch in the tone; in the picture with the paste still visible, it looks to me as though Jim (or his body, at least) is sepia whilst the others are black and white. I think it’s just possible that JS wasn’t in these pictures originally at all, which would, if that were the case, make Claire/Samantha’s location pretty much irrelevant.

    Pictures of Jim from October 71 (Hellicar ‘A Day in the Life of JS’) including rehearsals for TOTP seem to feature the same dungarees and haircut.

    Can you provide links for the pictures of Claire dancing alone or with one other girl? Presumably they’re form the same source as the one used in the Mail article.

    btw I now realise that often searching for Saville with two ‘L’s is more productive than the correct spelling!

    bbtw the title of the picture with Claire/Samantha and Jim is titled -
    “Television Programme. 'top Of The Pops'. Samantha”

    Anyway, supposing Mrs G is right and this picture of JS and CM were the true original. Who, for what possible motive, might have doctored it?

    1. Misa, the shots of Claire solo are here:

      There are two of her, plus two of the bizarrely named Geran Tucker (who also appears in group shots).

      Here we have another dancer solo - Janine Hartwell - who appears to Savile's left (and our right) in Rabbitaway's '1977' and '1971' pics above:

      (The Alamy website is bloody useless for searching!)

      Regarding the reason for doctoring, it could be completely innocent & I think is/was something the 'papers do every day. Maybe there was an spotty geek in shot whom they wanted removed, or maybe they simply had no shot of Savile & Claire together (even though they knew that they had appeared on the same show at least once) and so cobbled one together.
      I don't think 'they' would consider this dishonest, although we might disagree!

      I said before - I think on Moor's site - that I don't believe that abuse had anything to do with the suicide anyway, so it wouldn't make any difference to me if we DID find an authentic pic of the two of 'em together; I'm as interested in the ways in which the media manipulates as in whether or not they really rubbed shoulders (clashingly in one pic!).

      Once you've seen a couple of mangled photos you start to question everything they say - probably the road to madness!

    2. For God's sake - I forgot!
      Regarding the well-used dungarees I was going to say that it would be good to know when the photos (or composites, if that is what they are) first appeared in the press.

      I'm wary of trusting the dates/details provided by the image-libraries too much. In Rabbitaway's next post she says that she would like to see those NOTW-articles mentioned in Davies' dreadful book - so would I!

      I had a fruitless search, but it seems that there are archives available for anyone down London way; armed with the dates (but can we trust they are accurate?) it might be worth a burrow!

  6. Gawd, I've been down a rabbithole or two, but I think this is Nicola Blackman's Twitter-account. She appears on stage with both Claire & Savile in this pic we've already seen:

    "Trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, she made her West End debut in the ensemble of Showboat [1971], aged 15, and eventually went on to play Ethel the maid."

    If only I had a Twitter-account I'd be tempted to ask her what she remembers! I'd be careful not to mention 'Confessions From A Holiday Camp', though! A 'safe for work' snap is here:

    P.S. The Mail picture library doesn't even mention Savile in the 'famous' snap (see the slideshow) but has the following portrait of Geran Tucker:

    Mail-library (not link-friendly):

    1. Thanks guys great work. Some of these dancers actually appear a few times in videos. Is Samantha/Claire in this one ?

      Here's more

      Oh and I've just come across this !! WOW colour

    2. Thanks, Rabbit. My connection's killing me at the moment and I just can't load the videos. Will try to look at them tomorrow. Hope this hasn't all been too much of a distraction.

    3. Enjoyed some of those videos, Rabbit. I did stumble across one from 25/02/71 with JS 'chatting up a girl' - right edge of the screen, 1.30 - 1.41 - certainly not the same clothes as in the photo.

    4. I started to try & make a list of Savile's appearances to see if I could track down his dungarees... what has become of me?!?

      It's pretty confusing, as the same clips are included several times on occasion, making dating them nigh on impossible; the video mentioned above by Misa, for example, has Savile sporting a spectacularly dull combination of beige jumper & beige trousers, and may indeed be from 25th February but is elsewhere described as being from 28th January. Grrr...

      Apologies if this doesn't work, but I'm going to try and insert a clickable link:

      The Mixtures - The Pushbike Song

    5. Zeus! Nope, it didn't work... back to copy 'n'paste:

    6. Great I was going to include the Mixtures song in a link. This was shown last year don't know what programme but the haters went ballistic. The line is he's touching her but I don't think he is ? Plus, when you look at later scene, it's obvious she's asking him something and he's getting ready to do next link. He even has a notepad in his hand LOL script ??

    7. She looks happy enough to me! I think there may be someone else included in the conversation off-screen to the right (Savile's left) by the way she's looking over.

      A bit off topic, but I had a conversation with my parents last night (they are on holiday here at the moment) and I remembered to ask 'em if they could back-up my very vague memory of seeing him in Scarborough along the front; they couldn't, but had a different vague memory of their own, seeing him there when he was much older.

      We ended up chatting about him for a bit, and as Daily Mail-readers I wondered what they made of all the claims. I was quite surprised (and reassured) that they are quite sceptical - firstly, as why weren't the claims made during his lifetime, and secondly, "things were different back then."

      That second point reminded me of something I'd heard from them when I was young - that they'd seen both The Beatles & The Stones when they were young (and when both bands were on the way to becoming massive); I asked them about it & my mum told me how she'd seen The Beatles twice, and what it was like.

      She had an interesting story - after one of the gigs they (the screaming girls, I suppose, though it's hard for me to imagine her this way!) were hanging around trying to "get to them". Ringo & George stayed hidden, but Paul & John poked their heads out, and John told them - the girls - which hotel they were staying in!

      I doubt he was thinking of signing autographs in his hotel room! Things were different then...

      They brought up Savile's alleged "accomplice" in Scarborough - Jaconelli - and they'd spoken with one of their old friends who is an ex-copper; he had "heard rumours" but nothing else, and the rumours were based on... the fact he hired teenage boys to work in his ice-cream parlor! Ho ho ho! (Maybe I've forgotten being abused by the newsagents who hired my pals & I, teenage boys, to deliver the papers!)

      I think I've cracked the mystery of links on Blogger now, so have a peek at greaser Blackburn copping a feel - in plain sight!

      What an interesting design!

  7. OK, so it looks like I'm far enough down the road to madness. Given the picture you linked to here:

    Unless someone's been seriously industrious, that gives us a third picture in which they both feature. I'd say we can reasonably assume they were both in the same place at the same time, whatever the date. As you say, there could be a perfectly innocent explanation for cropping it. It just seems ironic that the Mail should publish a report claiming a connection between Savile and the girl, and actually manage to select a picture from which the girl had been so crudely removed. It would be interesting to see the photograph wherever it originally appeared, if it was published at the time.

    Agreed re dates. This stuff is obviously uploaded long after the event.

  8. I've got a feeling something went horribly wrong when I last tried to insert a link in a comment here, but let's see what happens.

    So, according to Rex, these pictures feature:

    Nicola Blackman, Confessions from a Holiday Camp (1977), US Girls (1993)
    Josephine Gillick, Calamity the Cow (1967), The Mind of Mr JG Reeder (1969), Cromwell (1970)
    Geran Tucker, black boots/belt. No further info.
    Samantha Claire (Claire Ufland/Mcalpine)
    and possibly Donna Scarf, Benny Hill (1978), Let’s Get Laid (1978), Blake’s Seven (1979)

    This picture features Geran and Claire with Geran identified as wearing black boots and belt.

    Whilst this one is labelled as featuring Claire, Nicola Blackman and Josephine Gillick.

    So probably L-R: Blackman, Gillick, Tucker, Claire, JS.

    Is Donna Scraff to Jim’s left with the over-the-knee white boots in both of the pics within the original post?

    Not sure that this is of any significance whatsoever, but trawling 1970s smut has been an education.

    1. Hurrah! Except it should be noted that it was 'Us Girls' (not US Girls), and apologies to Ms Scarff for mangling her name twice in one comment.

    2. Misa, the girl in white to Savile's left is Janine Hartwell. I think we've had the solo shot before, but if not:

      Janine Hartwell

      Geran Tucker appears in a small article ("Girl takes new role") in the following scan, but it is too tiny to make head nor tail of it:

      Geran Tucker in Californian newspaper June 1971

      The BBC, 'Top Of The Pops' & those 'dollies' are in there, and by the looks of it in a positive way without making mention of Claire.

      Donna may not have appeared on the same show as Savile as it just says she danced on same show as Claire (so maybe not in the pics we've been looking at).
      If she DOES appear, I'm guessing she'll look more like she does here:

      Dolly Donna

      ... rather than she appears here:

      Dowdy Donna

      That second pic is from the Daily Mail, and was probably shot to go with the story of Claire's death, hence the innocent look (to sell the tale about supposed debauchery). It's hard believing it's the same girl - with the same age - as the first one.

    3. [Duh! Just noticed that what seems to be the same girl appears to the right of both Janine & Dolly Donna (our left) in the two links above, so they must have attended the same show.]

    4. Oh crikey, I've got Janine mixed up with Donna. Thanks for your patience, Bandini!

  9. LOL Donna 'Scruff' !! I'm loving reading your comments guys. I've come across reference to these pop dolly dancers in newspaper reports from the time. They didn't just APPEAR at the studios by accident they were discovered in discos etc.
    Better still, some of them appear in the show as early as Feb 1970 !!! Many of them are aspiring artistes and, as YOU have shown, forged careers for themselves in television etc.
    So, it hasn't been POINTLESS at all, in FACT your rummaging about has led me to another conclusion. I'll do another post about the matter later today/tomorrow.
    Great work thank you x

    1. It seems clear that some of them were already 'in tv', if only as 'child actors' before they were pictured here, before going on to make careers for themselves in the business.

  10. I am Geran Tucker did not realise there were so many photos of me!

    1. Hello, Geran Tucker!

      Is that really you?!?
      If so, apologies as I imagine it must feel more than a little weird to find people discussing you on the internet after all this time!

      As you have probably seen by now, we've been trying to discover the truth of what really happened on 'Top Of The Tops' all those years ago, particularly with regards to Claire McAlpine; the media were keen to blame Jimmy Savile for causing her suicide (something which the evidence did not support). Anyone daring to suggest that Savile was NOT responsible (for any of his alleged crimes) has been labelled all manner of things - none of 'em nice! - but sometimes the truth finally comes to be heard.

      Thanks to the Dame Janet Smith report into the BBC (leaked via a sensationalist news agency whose madeup rubbish has lead to, for example, an old man - nursing his dying wife - having his home turned upside down by 20 coppers as they searched for proof that Ted Heath and Jimmy Savile were somehow involved in torturing & murdering children...) we now have it finally confirmed that Savile was NOT responsible for Claire's sad demise.

      However, the Smith report seems to have been written by someone with little appreciation for the age & culture in which those events took place, in this case the early 70s. You were, it would seem, in 'grave moral danger' and the cameras were prone to filming the most revealing of angles! Some of us believe this to be a nonsense, a classic example of viewing the culture of the past through the prism of the present.

      With Claire McAlpine appearing once again on the frontpage of the tabloids it's possible that the media would be interested in using your story... or 'misusing' your story, perhaps, as what they seem most interested in is twisting the truth in order to attack the BBC (via Savile when they can, and via anyone else when they can't).

      If you wanted to tell your true story HERE I'm sure you'd have some interested readers! Maybe you could contact Rabbitaway via email if you didn't want to comment beneath her articles? Telling the truth may not be as immediately lucrative as taking the media's shilling but it's always the right thing to do in the long run.

      I hope you've had a fantastic life in the years since TOTP.
      R.I.P. Claire McAlpine, and long live the seventies!

    2. Well said Bandini my email is I promise NOT to publish anything you ask me not to. Best wishes to you

  11. Well apart from being the real "bizarrely named" Geran Tucker I am confused as to the purpose of the blog here. I was interviewed by the Daily Mail and the Rolling Stone magazine at the time of Ms Mc Alpine's death because we were Top of The Pops friends.
    Many years of TOTP footage seems to have been destroyed maybe because of lack of storage and this happened before the outcry over Jimmy Saville. What is your interest in all this.
    I know the mechanics of TOTPs as throughout the early 70s I was there many many weeks.

    1. Hi Geran, just looking for facts here. Did you by any chance speak to the dame's review people ?

    2. Hello again, Geran.
      It was I who wrote "bizarrely named" - it wasn't meant as an insult, I'd just never heard anyone so named before. (Auto-complete would try and 'convert' you into a 'german trucker'!).

      I'll leave Rabbitaway to explain the purpose of her blog, but from my perspective there has been a total willingness on the part of the media to accept, at face value, the most outrageous allegations against Savile when the evidence simply did not support them. Some believe that they are worthy of a more serious investigation.

      A case in point - Claire McAlpine's suicide, which until a week or so ago was being blamed on Jimmy Savile (including by the Daily Mail). It is now accepted that he was not involved/responsible, and they are now throwing the blame elsewhere.

      (When we were researching all the above, he was still assumed by most to be 'guilty' of causing her death.)

      You may be interested in Rabbitaway's latest piece, which includes a link to a restored TOTP from February 1971:

      LINK: TOTP 1971...

      I didn't spot you there, although having previously spent so long searching through photos & videos I wasn't sure if that isn't perhaps Janine Hartwell (at 21'33" and elsewhere) who is mentioned here and whose name may ring a bell... It's hard to tell, to be honest.

      If you had any clippings of interviews/whatever it'd be great to see them, and also just to hear your experiences of your time on TOTP. If you have Savile-related recollections that'd be great too.

      All the best, and sorry if I offended you over the name - it wasn't intentional.

  12. Hi No idea who the Dame's review people are. I only found your site because a friend of mine pointed out that there were increasing numbers of photos being uploaded onto the internet and was I aware of that. No offensive taken over the name. Not sure that I still have the clippings but the photo with the cat and the photo of me dancing in a two pieced fringed outfit were taken during my interview at my house so they will be in the Daily Mail archives.
    I am not following the story unfolding of JS as I live in the mountains of Italy under my married name and have no English TV
    Suffice to say Jimmy Saville was not the name mentioned by Claire to me shortly before her death but I have to say one tried to avoid being too close to JS due to his unsavoury behaviour.

    1. Thanks Geran,what do you mean by 'unsavoury behaviour' ? You can find out all you need to know about the Dame Janet Smith Review online.

    2. Living in the mountains of Italy, far away from the madness, sounds like a good place to be, Geran! I'm in Spain so missed the whole beginning of the Savile-storm myself... yet here I am, fascinated by it all.

      Speaking of mountains, I have a 'mountain' of questions for you! I do have a habit of babbling on, so feel free to ignore as many as you like (or all of 'em!).

      1) like Rabbitaway above, I'd like to know more about what you mean by 'unsavoury behaviour'.

      Savile was an admitted 'odd ball', a weirdo with a strong personality, which some people didn't like (while others obviously did). He was also a 'touchy-feely' person which can be seen in his interaction with EVERYONE, from the girls on TOTP to the Pope in Rome. His tendency to give an exagerrated kiss to the hand or face of females was not always welcomed, but he did so in public & in 'private' (in Buckingham Palace with princesses, in Chequers surrounded by the Prime Minister and entourage).

      Whilst some found his schtick objectionable (or unsavoury, I suppose), others apparently did not. As an example of how one person's opinion can differ from another's there was, we are told, an 'incident' in a hospital, half a century or more ago, and a whole report was dedicated to 'investigating' it; the incident consisted of the following:

      - A woman claimed that when working as a nurse (I think she was a nurse, I'm going from memory here) Jimmy Savile visited. He placed his arm around her shoulder & asked if she would like a cup of tea. There was nothing sexual, nor even indecent about her alleged encounter, but she now says that she did not enjoy it.
      God knows how many thousands of pounds were spent launching an investigation into the alleged incident (the only one at that particular hospital) & despite the fact that no evidence could be found to support the claim - nor even that she had ever worked there! - it is marked down as a black-mark against Savile's name.

      This seems incredible, but I understand that an arm around the shoulders can be unwelcome if the 'huggee' is not accustomed to close physical contact. Coming to live in Spain from the UK I myself have had to adapt to the culture here, as I'm sure you will have had to do in Italy - hugs, kisses, caresses are OBLIGATORY here, whether or not we like it - and not only with those close but also complete strangers at times!

      In short, the woman who objected (after half a century) to being offered a cup of tea would not enjoy living in Spain/Italy! And for that reason, it would be good to know if what you mean by 'unsavoury behaviour' is someone being a little too close, invading another's body-space, flirting & being 'naughty', or if you mean something illegal, criminal & 'really bad' - one person's 'hug' can be another's 'assault'.

      Phew, I told you I prattle on... sorry!

      2) I'd love to hear about what led to you appearing on TOTP in the first place. It seems that many of the audience came from stage or dancing school, rather than from 'the street'. Is this how you came to be a dancer on the show?

      3) How many times did you appear, and did you continue after Claire's death?

      4) Was your experience with Savile any different to that with other presenters/TOTP-workers? There were not very many different presenters at this time, but their RECORDED behaviour (and that of others who came later) is very similar to Savile's around the girls: hugs, flirting, etc.. It may all look a little strange NOW but at the time was, for better or worse, the norm.

      5) How was your experience with the media (Daily Mail, etc.)? Did you feel they accurately reported your story, or were you just happy & starstruck to be appearing in the press? (Completely understandable for a youngster.)

      * Crikey, I've had to chop this comment into two! *

    3. * Part two!!! *

      6) If you ever felt in danger in any way, would you (or did you) feel able to report it to anyone such as your family, stage-crew, etc.?

      7) Did you ever appear in the press prior to Claire's death, as she herself did?

      8) Regarding the 'DJ who wasn't Jimmy Savile' - I won't mention his name, although we all know who he is - he is to appear in the upcoming Smith Review but already the gutter-press are making serious allegations against him. (The same press who made the same UNTRUE allegations against Savile! They really are shameless...)

      Here, for example, is what has appeared:

      “The unnamed DJ is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl, Claire McAlpine, who committed suicide a month later.”

      Now, I don't like the man - in fact, I think he's a creep - but I do not believe that he raped a minor (which drove her to suicide). It's an incredibly serious allegation being made by people who apparently wish to damage the BBC. How do you feel about the accusation, having spoken to Claire at the time?

      9) No! That's enough, and I'm starving - pasta with pesto for me, Italian-style! Thanks for replying before, for reading (if you have), and responding (if you do)!
      ¡Buenas noches!

  13. Geran, I stumbled across this strange blog and amazingly came across you. Do you remember, from ToP days, John W, Nick Q, Maida Vale? Get in touch! Temporary email:

  14. Claire did not commit suicide because of anything that happened at TOTP. It was simply a case of a teenager having an argument with her mother and then being over-dramatic. Her mother always used to say goodnight to her but that night was so angry she didn't. Claire's death was a terrible, terrible mistake. Most teenagers have fantasies, unfortunately Claire put hers in her diary. No-one she met at TOTP hurt her. I spent the day with her two days before her death and she was her usual wonderful and funny self. We went to a BBC radio recording in Lower Regent Street, we were just fans in the audience, that's all Claire ever was, though her beauty always marked her out as someone special.

    1. Thank you for your comment 'anon' did you speak to the smith review people ? Not that they cared about Claire or anyone else for that matter !

    2. No I didn't speak to them, I didn't actually know they were going to bring up Claire's life and death until afterwards. I don't have a lot of faith in any authorities speaking the truth, they weren't there and they didn't know Claire. It was all so long ago and although Claire's mother died just as the Smith Report was coming out her brother Simon is still alive and he's been through enough over the years. Also, as you say, no-one really cared about the truth then or now. A few things I do remember, nobody was interested in the age of girls dancing on TOTP, I was 12 when I first went there with a schoolfriend and unlike Claire I didn't look older than my age. Most of the girls were from stage schools (mainly The Corona Stage School) which was near Hammersmith so easy to get to TOTP after school. Donna Scarff and Janine Hartwell went there. I never knew of anyone who, however desperate for fame, went near Jimmy Savile, he was pretty repulsive even then. We were very young but very streetwise London girls and well able to look after ourselves.

    3. It's Sophie btw, if I can work out how to do it I'll change my name.

    4. Sophie, it's great to have your input on this. So sad reading about Claire, but sickening to see the story twisted to suit other people's agendas, or just embellished for click-bait.

      If you 'comment as' or 'reply as', choose Name/URL from the drop down menu. You can input your name and leave the URL space blank if you wish.

    5. Thanks Misa and nice to meet you Sophie