I was surprised at how sad I was to hear of Sir Jimmy Savile’s death at the weekend. I know he went on to do incredible acts of charity in those garish tracksuits, but for me he was all about Jim’ll Fix It.
My goodness, I loved that show. The amazing chair from which he produced all sorts of items, the Jim-fixed-it-for-me badges, the catchy theme tune (which is now stuck in my head on an endless loop), the hand-written letters.
And, if memory serves me correctly, I’m pretty sure he used to sit there puffing on a cigar while talking to the children.
The actual fix-its are a bit more sketchy in my memory. I have vague recollections of children looking shell-shocked when they got to meet/sing and dance with their favourite bands.
But I don’t remember any of the off-set fixes. I do clearly recall my desperation to have a fix that was worthy of the show, but my imagination was so wild I thought there was no way I’d get what I hoped for (being the first child to spacewalk was one of them).
My other ideas were so lame they weren’t even worth writing in about. For example, my desperation for a Blue Peter badge – could Jim perform the impossible for me and make that happen? Even in my tender years I knew there was something not quite right about asking for that.
When I grew up a bit, I viewed Jimmy with a tinge of disdain, like most teenagers did, I guess. He’d morphed into a caricature of who I thought he thought he should be to be hip. He insisted on those shellsuits and lots of gold jewellery, effectively going in my eyes from a national treasure to a national embarrassment.
Then, as I grew up a bit more, I realised he was glorious enough to fix it for himself so he could wear what he wanted, say what he wanted and keep on raising money for charity.
But what I wasn’t prepared for was the punch in the gut I felt when I heard he had passed away. It was like part of my childhood had disappeared.
Who will leave the same huge hole in my children’s future lives? I fear it’ll be Simon Cowell, which sadly doesn’t seem quite right.
n Sir Jimmy’s local
connections - page 18