It’s only 11 months since Sir Jimmy Savile puffed this last cigar.
Less than a year since his death and those mourning scenes normally reserved for royalty. Sir Jimmy, lying in state at the Queens hotel in Leeds.
Fans queueing to file past the coffin and lining the streets to watch the final journey of a city son who had done good and did good.
And now we hear claims that the eccentric TV personality who became a legend in his own lifetime and raised millions for charity also did bad. Disgustingly bad.
I am writing this hours before the airing of the ITV documentary alleging he raped and sexually abused under-age girls behind the backs of his adoring fans.
But there has already been so much said about the content of Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, there can’t be much more to hear.
The claims, and seeing Esther Rantzen doing her compassionate face while candidly labelling Savile a paedophile, actually shocked me.
Not those who were adults in the Seventies when Savile was Top Of The Pops, yodelling in mock lechery at gawky teenage girls in blue eyeshadow and fixing dreams for youngsters battling some terrible disease.
They will tell you now that they always thought he was weird. That the revelations come as no real surprise to them.
But we who were kids at the time thought he was just marvellous. We all wanted to come up with some amazingly unusual wish we wanted granted, so that we could be on his show and get to meet the funny bloke with silly spectacles and hair like a Disney prince. To us, he was so kind. And so famous, at a time when few who didn’t do anything particularly talented were.
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? Kids don’t know the difference between someone nice and someone nasty.
We can’t expect them to; their innocence leaves them so vulnerable. That’s why grown-ups are meant to protect them
Savile is dead and gone. But if he WAS a paedophile, too many stayed silent and effectively aided and abetted.
Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini was quick to publicly state he’d been waiting 30 years for the allegations to come out. Savile, he has publicly told us, played tabloid newspapers “like a Stradivarius”, using his charity work to prevent his private life being exposed. “You just didn’t mess with Jim,” he admitted. He was the governor. You just let him have his turf.”
It’s so sickening to realise they felt unable to reveal a star’s secrets because of his reputation.
What about the harm done to innocent little girls?