Friday, 21 January 2011

How's about that, then?

While leafing through the BBC TV Audience Research Reports for 1964, a consistent theme starts to emerge...

VR/64/11 Top of the Pops 1 January 1964

"But the greatest number of objections was aimed at Jimmy Savile, mainly because of his appearance. 'What an odd looking individual' said a Solicitor; and others expanded this to call him 'a cross between a Beatle and an Aldwych farce curate', 'like a Presbyterian minister', 'like something from Doctor Who', 'mutton dressed as lamb', 'Really horrific. It ought to have an X certificate. And there was Mr. Savile presiding over the orgy like a Puritan clergyman resurrected from his own churchyard' (Retired Naval Officer)."

VR/64/63 Top of the Pops 29 January 1964

"It is clear, too, that many found Jimmy Savile's manner and appearance (in introducing the programme) disconcerting to a degree. 'Is this Jimmy Savile sane? I must say his most peculiar appearance and manner suggest otherwise. I couldn't understand a word of his "gabble', either.', 'a real nit', 'a proper twerp', 'a big idiotic nothing'."

VR/64/661 Top of the Pops 10 December 1964

"Jimmy Savile, who introduced the programme on this occasion, was obviously disliked by a large number of the sample audience. Many indicated their aversion to this artist by remarking that anything they had to say about him would be 'quite unprintable', whilst comment by those who freely expressed their feelings was liberally larded with such terms as 'this nutcase'; 'this obnoxious "thing"'; and 'this revolting spectacle'. True, a small number admired and liked him - 'Of course he is utterly zany but he puts life and laughter into the programme and he is clearly "with it" as regards pop music' - but even some of those considered his hair style 'a bit too much'. 'As a disc jockey he is great but I think he ought to get his hair cut because as it is it looks ridiculous'. Many more, however, clearly found him 'an abomination' in every respect."

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