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‘Creepy’ Savile never stopped his stage act
JIMMY Savile was a Peter Pan-like figure who saw himself as the same age as his alleged victims, according to a former BBC producer.
David Winter, who is also a former Oxfordshire priest, worked with Savile in the 1970s and said the host of Jim’ll Fix It liked having young girls around him.
He described Savile, who died last year, as a creepy and unwholesome person who never stopped his stage act.
But he never suspected the DJ of sexually abusing girls.
Mr Winter said Savile, a devout Roman Catholic, had told him he would use his charity work to get into heaven if he was deemed immoral by St Peter.
Police are now investigating 340 lines of inquiry into claims Savile abused young girls.
Mr Winter, who was parish priest in Ducklington in the 1990s and is honorary Canon of Christ Church in Oxford, worked at the BBC in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, as a producer and later head of religious affairs.
He was assistant producer on Speakeasy, a Radio 1 discussion programme for teenagers in the 1970s, which was produced and presented by Savile.
He said: “I recall a conversation at the BBC where he said if St Peter would not let him in (to heaven) on the grounds he was immoral he would explain that he had raised millions for charity and had worked as a hospital porter for free.”
Mr Winter added: “In the 70s, everybody knew that Jimmy Savile and little girls went together and wherever you saw Jimmy Savile there were pubescent girls.
“They came in crowds and screamed and wanted to sit on his lap and have photographs with him, and he would say ‘give us a kiss, darling’.
“I did not like him much and thought he was creepy, and there was something odd about someone who never stopped the act.
“There was something unwholesome about him full stop. It was like he was a caricature of a human being.
“As far as I was concerned, he was a sort of Peter Pan, who never grew up and saw himself as the same age as they were.”
Mr Wnter said girls would go in to Savile’s caravan, and “as an ex-school teacher, that made my flesh creep”. He added: “But I did not suspect he was having sex with them. I did not think he would be that stupid.”
The BBC will hold two inquiries, one into why a Newsnight investigation into Savile was shelved last year, and another into whether the culture and practice at the broadcaster at the time enabled Savile to carry out the sexual abuse of children.
Mr Winter, who lives in Thatcham, Berkshire, said it was right the alleged abuse was being investigated, and added: “I think it is absolutely right that the BBC should conduct some sort of inquiry into whether the BBC was not exercising proper duty of care in the 70s and 80s and also into whether the BBC stopped the Newsnight broadcast.”