I was watching the Netflix documentary, Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story, over the weekend. I was reminded of the time, over 20 years ago and well before he was officially outed as a massive pedophile predator, when I brushed tangentially against him. In 2000, I had published a spoof Have I Got News For You transcript supposedly detailing out-takes from the show episode in which he appeared, and which saw Paul Merton tear into Savile mercilessly. Demon, my hosting provider at the time, got hit with a legal take-down notice.
I documented the resulting back and forth, which ended in a thoroughly expurgated (and not very funny) version being allowed to stay up, But subsequent events obviously put the article, from May 2001, into new perspective. Most obviously, the collapse and implosion in the reputation of Jimmy Savile, and his exposure as a predator of the worst sort. Up until his death in 2011, he pursued an aggressive policy of attempting to silence those who dared mention his fondness for young girls, such as a lawsuit against The Sun in 2008, after they linked him to child abuse at the Jersey children’s home Haut de la Garenne. He denied ever having been there… until a photo came out showing him at the home, surrounded by young children. Oops.
It has also become clear since that the transcript was, indeed, entirely fictitious., the product of a group of comedy fans known as SOTCAA [short for “Some of the corpses are amusing”] It was a work in progress, buried in a hidden link on their site, which escaped and took a life of its own. In particular, it seems it reached the ears of its target:
Solicitors, apparently acting on behalf of Sir James Savile OBE, managed to close down the site pending an enquiry re libel, defamation of character etc etc. As webmaster, Rob was required to write a legally-binding letter in hardcopy pointing out that the script in question had never actually been ‘officially’ published on the site (and that we had no plans to publish it in the future) before the ban could be lifted.”
In the light of this, it seems fairly clear that it was Savile’s lawyers – according to the documentary, led by the much-feared George Carman QC – who also contacted Demon, in order to get the transcript taken down. I wear their efforts as something of a badge of honour now, and figure that, with the subject now dead and utterly discredited (as well as now being hosted in the United States, where libel laws are much laxer!), I can repost the transcript in full.
During the headline round:
DEAYTON: You used to be a wrestler didn’t you?
SAVILLE: I still am.
DEAYTON: Are you?
SAVILLE: I’m feared in every girls’ school in the country.
DEAYTON: Yeah, I’ve heard about that.
SAVILLE: What have you heard?
MERTON: Something about a cunt with a rancid, pus-filled cock.
(Huge audience laugh; Awkward pause)
SAVILLE: I advise you to wash your mouth out, my friend…
MERTON: That’s what she had to do! (Audience laughs)
HISLOP: Weren’t you leaving money in phone boxes or something?
(Saville glares at him) Or have I got completely the wrong end of the…
SAVILLE: (To Deayton, heavily) The question you asked was about wrestling.
DEAYTON: Yes. And then you mentioned girls’ schools. I don’t know whe…
SAVILLE: Well I understood this was a comedy programme. I realise now how wrong I was.
DEAYTON: So were you a professional wrestler?
SAVILLE: Yes I was.
DEAYTON: (To audience) Glad we got that cleared up. (Pulls face; audience giggles)
HISLOP: Feared by every girls’ school in the country…
SAVILLE: That’s right.
MERTON: Due to having a rancid, pus-filled cock.
(Huge audience laugh)
HISLOP: You’re on top form tonight, Paul…
SAVILLE: (Strangely) I’m…this is not what I…
FLOOR MANAGER: (OOV) OK, do you…(inaudible section)…shall we, for pick-ups…
MERTON: I’m terribly sorry. I don’t know what came over me.
SAVILLE: A pus-filled cock, I imagine.
(Shocked audience laugh)
MERTON: Oh, it’s nice to see you joining in. We’d been waiting for you, you sad senile old shitter. (Audience appears to do double-take)
DEAYTON: I think we…d-d-you you want to apologise to our guest, Paul?
MERTON: Sorry, I do apologise. Sir senile old shitter, is what I meant to say. (Audience laugh; pause) Sir senile old shitter…who fucks minors.
HISLOP: Sorry, I’m just looking at our lawyer again. (Waves) Hello! (Audience laughs)
DEAYTON: Shall we get back on course with this, or sha…
SAVILLE: I do fuck miners, that’s quite correct. I have always done so. They can do the most wonderful things with cigars. The coal…
MERTON: What, they stick them up your senile, pus-filled arse?
FLOOR MANAGER: (OOV): Come on…I’m getting an ear-bashing here. It’s…
MERTON: Oh they want to continue. Sorry, I’ll contain myself. Carry on…
DEAYTON: Right (Pause) You used to be a professional wrestler didn’t you? (Huge audience laugh)
SAVILLE: (Calmly) I did.
DEAYTON: You didn’t have a nickname or anything?
SAVILLE: Yes – ‘Loser’. (Audience laughs)
Out-take 4: 21’20
Following a discussion about caravans:
DEAYTON: Last month, Roger Moore sold his luxury caravan in Malta. Asked by the…
MERTON: I visited your caravan the other week, Jimmy.
SAVILLE: Did you really?
MERTON: Oh yes. Interesting what you can find, if you have a bit of a poke.
HISLOP: He just told you, it was twelve years ago…
SAVILLE: No, I lived in it for twelve years.
MERTON: And fucked twelve year olds. (Audience laugh)
DEAYTON: Here we go again…I’ll be backstage if anyone wants me.
MERTON: (Indicating Saville) That’s what you said to the kids on your show, wasn’t it?
SAVILLE: No, they never did want me.
HISLOP: Not even Sarah Cornley?
SAVILLE: She was an exception.
DEAYTON: Who’s Sarah Cornley?
SAVILLE: Sarah Cornley is…
HISLOP: About fifteen grand in damages, wasn’t she?
(Uncertain audience laugh)
SAVILLE: That’s right.
HISLOP: So if I was going to mention that you threatened to break her arm if she said anything…
SAVILLE: You’d be very wrong. (Pause) I said I’d break both her arms.
MERTON: Fucking hell. I mean, you’re just sitting there, all shell suit and cigar wearing those fucking…I don’t know what they are.
SAVILLE: Chrome-plated SC-700 sun-visors, these are. Sent to me by…
MERTON: We don’t give a shit. Ladies and gentlemen, Sir James Saville OBE. Jim has fixed it for me to have my arms broken. Meet this depressing old fucked up cunt of a fucker on television who’s riddled with cancer and fucking pubic lice.
HISLOP: (To lawyer again) Hello!
MERTON: Christ, I mean ha ha, big fucking joke – the fucking lawyers are involved, tee hee. It doesn’t change anything.
DEAYTON: (Visibly out of character) Do you wanna stop, or…?
MERTON: No I don’t fucking want to stop. It’s all shit! You’ll expect a comedy walkout in a minute, won’t you? I mean, big bloody joke – I’m going to quote Shakespeare in a minute, how fucking out of character. And Ian knows about football – oh my fucking sides.
SAVILLE: You’ve never fucked anyone in your life, boy.
MERTON: Oh fuck off…
FLOOR MANAGER: (OOV) …About five minutes, just to…
(Phil Davey enters)
PHIL DAVEY: OK, well top that as they say. You’re looking troubled by that, aren’t you mate? I tell you, I came back from Amsterdam recently…
RECORDING PLACED ON STAND-BY; CUTS BACK TO CLOSE-UP OF DEAYTON AWAITING HIS CUE
DEAYTON: OK. Second time lucky. (Pause) Last month, Roger Moore sold his luxury caravan in Malta. Asked by the New York Times about his relaxed acting style…
[Header image: Jimmy_Savile_PICT6249a_gaussian_blur.jpg: The original uploader was Jmb at English Wikipedia.derivative work: Maximilian Schönherr, CC BY 2.5 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5, via Wikimedia Commons]