Sir Cyril Smith

Jan 1977: Lord Winstanley, Cyril Smith’s Westminster roommate & Liberal Peer joins Albany Trust

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By January 1977 the Albany Trust under Haywood’s chairmanship had moved offices from the less upmarket 31 Clapham Road, adjacent to Stockwell tube station, to Strutton Ground, moments from Victoria Station and its relentless flow of young runaways, close to national landmarks Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. Victoria, like all major railway stations in London, was already a major venue for ‘chickenhawks’ like Leslie Alfred Goddard, Adam Ant’s father who lived locally.

The Trust hadn’t met since 24th November when Antony Grey had been alerted to Mary Whitehouse’s allegations against Ric Rogers (Albany Trust Youth Worker) and the work of the Trust as the ‘normalisation’ of paedophilia. On 19th January Albany  Trustees Sue Barnet, Lil Butler, Michael Butler, Harold Haywood (Chairman), and Antony Grey (Director) met with apologies for their absence from Rodney Bennett-England,  Sidney Bunt, and Lord Winstanley. Haywood announced that he would be leaving the Trust as Chairman on 1 September 1977 and Lil Butler was decided upon as Deputy Chairman to support Haywood until his departure. The Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations were due to begin in February with church services leading up to beacons being set aflame across hilltops during summer but the pomp and pageantry would be sufficiently over by September for Haywood to take over the funds raised by the Jubilee Trusts and work on consolidating them into the Prince’s Trust for Young People from autumn.

Grey had invited Michael Rubinstein (1920 – 2001) to attend the January meeting, a lawyer from the firm Rubinstein & Nash at 5-6 Raymond’s Building’s, Gray’s Inn, where Lord Arnold Goodman had been articled when qualifying as a solicitor during the 1930s. Rubinstein’s uncle was publisher Victor Gollancz, leading to his specialisation in publishing matters and his defence of the publication of DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover which Dr John Robinson (Albany Trustee, Bishop of Woolwich) had been called by Rubinstein to give testimony in defence of. Rubinstein would also later advise another of his clients Anthony Blunt against suing for defamation on the basis that he had lost his reputation.

September 1979: “In theory, Rubinstein was a well-chosen solicitor for Anthony: the present menace was a forthcoming book and, as he had fought for half a dozen major publishers in libel cases, and for Penguin when, for issuing an unexpurgated text of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the company was prosecuted for obscenity in 1960, there could be nothing that he did not know about counteracting literary accusations.

It was not so: he was far too eager to take the battle to the foe without quite knowing the complex nature of the enemy — a doggedly inquiring writer who could not quite prove what he supposed; a press informed by rumour, innuendo and the malice of all sorts of minor figures anxious to pull Anthony down in revenge for imagined slights; an MI5 and MI6 thrilling to the renewal of a long-frustrated chase; and a naive Prime Minister inspired, not by spite, but by such aggressive provincial patriotism that she could neither ask nor answer the question, “Why?”

These forces were far beyond Rubinstein’s power to control and, once unleashed, they swept him aside. It was he who, as a preliminary to quashing it, asked the publishers of Boyle’s book to let him see the text. Because Anthony was not named in it, Rubinstein’s asking to see it was promptly interpreted as an admission of sorts (had he been fool enough to name Anthony as his client?) and the publishers leaked the request to Private Eye; on September 28 the tumbrils of the press prepared to roll. With the publication of extracts from Boyle’s book in The Observer on Sunday, November 4, I had the first telephone calls — from Stewart Tendler at The Times and Chris White at the Daily Mail — but all that I, an unknown nobody wondering, alarmed, how the hell these journalists knew of our connection, could say was that I knew nothing. I was in genuine ignorance of the situation, for I had not heard from Anthony for days and he had not answered the telephone when, troubled by his silence, I had called him.” [Brian Sewell, The art of espionage: Antony Blunt & Me, 15 December 2012, The Australian ]

And in 1978 the following year Gray’s Inn, one of the four Inns of Court for barristers, would employ Canon Eric James as their Preacher, a man who also happened to be a close friend of Peter Righton, Bishop of Stepney Father Trevor Huddleston and Dr John Robinson and would also become Chaplain to the Queen less than a decade later.

Rubinstein was there to give advice on whether the Albany Trust should sue Mary Whitehouse. Antony Grey had visited him at his offices in mid-December where although the advice had been not to risk costly and risky litigation, Rubenstein had drafted a strongly-worded letter for Haywood to send via recorded delivery on 17 December in the hope of silencing Whitehouse.

 

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Albany Trust Minutes 19th January 1977

However, in June 1977 Rubinstein irritated Harold Haywood by expecting to be paid for his advice.

“Michael Rubinstein had submitted a bill for £83 in addition the £25 paid in advance, for his advice in connection with the Mary Whitehouse attack. The Chairman had written to question the charge, which he had assumed would be nominal because of Mr Rubinstein’s special interest in the Trust. He had replied saying in part “…. I cannot understand why you should have been under the impression that I was offering to advise the Trust on anything other than a normal professional basis.” The Organising Secretary was asked to pay the bill and to bear this information in mind when deciding on whom to turn for legal advice in future.”

(Quaker and pacifist Arlo Tatum – the Organising Secretary mentioned above –  whose involvement in the Albany Trust following his unsuccessful case against the US army for ‘surveillance of lawful citizen activity’ during 1972’s Laird v Tatum is particularly interesting, will be posted about in more detail shortly)

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The previous Friday before the plenary Trustees’ meeting,  the Albany Trust Executive Sub-Committee consisting of Lil Butler, Haywood and Grey had decided against publishing the booklet Paedophilia: Some Questions and Answers.

“Whilst recognising the hard work which had gone into it, it was not felt that the document would advance the understanding and acceptance of pedophiles and it might adversely affect the Albany Trust. The Trustees generally agreed. It was also agreed that the Trust, in consultation with the pedophile group, should produce its own pamphlet on paedophilia in due course, and that an article on the subject should appear during the year in ‘AT’. ” (my underline emphasis)

Why was the Albany Trust so concerned to work for the acceptance of pedophiles in society, a position which went above and beyond either understanding, counselling and was certainly not aimed at rehabilitation since the view was that society needed to change to accommodate child abuse enthusiasts and not vice versa? The Trust’s rejection of the Q&A booklet above acknowledges the charity’s aim as to advance the acceptance of pedophiles, a position not dissimilar to that of the Q&A booklet’s Introduction that the Executive Sub-Committee had apparently just rejected  – that pedophiles, due to the high number in youth services both paid and voluntary, should be celebrated as a positive benefit to society because to do otherwise was to present the country with a substantial unfunded gap in Social Services. It also adds weight to Doreen Cordell’s complaint that as a charity with a self-defined interest in psychosexual counselling across various sexual minorities the Trust seemed to focus almost exclusively on pedophiles during the 1970s to the exclusion of TV/TS and other gender identity issues which as a counsellor she was seeing more of.

 

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Lord Michael Winstanley

In 1977 Lord Winstanley (1918 – 1993) had only recently been created a peer by Harold Wilson during his second term as Labour Prime Minister. For some reason, Harold Haywood and Antony Grey were particularly keen to secure Winstanley’s involvement in the Albany Trust and on 17th March at a Trustees’ meeting:

“The Chairman welcomed Lord Winstanley, who was introduced to fellow Trustees by the Director. Lord Winstanley indicated that he was most happy to be associated with the Trust, and hoped to be able to give more time to it later in the year.” [Albany Trust minutes, 17/03/1977]

Cyril Smith and Michael Winstanley had been friends since the 1950s – a long time prior to Smith entering Parliament for Rochdale as a Liberal MP in 1972. Sir Cyril wrote Winstanley’s obituary for The Independent, 19th July 1993 and credits him with persuading Smith to become a Liberal rather than a Labour MP. Winstanley had played cricket for a local Rochdale cricket team, often participating in celebrity XII matches.

“I shared an office with him at the House of Commons, and I witnessed at first hand his very hard work, his diligence and his total devotion to his constituency of Cheadle as it then was, Hazel Grove as it now is. He polled an absolutely massive vote, winning with it at one time (in 1966 and February 1974), losing with it at another (September 1974). He lost with three times the vote that most MPs win with.” [Independent Obituary by Cyril Smith]

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Battle of the Courtiers? A grudge-match beyond death: Lord Lambton vs Lord Mountbatten

photo 1 (17) The Mountbattens by Antony Lambton (1973, 1979, 1989 & ‘The Canadian Publishers’)

Lord Lambton vs. Lord Mountbatten

Three years into Edward Heath’s run as Prime Minister, on 22 May 1973  Minister Lord Lambton, Parliamentary under secretary for Defence (RAF) resigned as Conservative MP for Berwick-Upon-Tweed, his constituency for almost 22 years. This triggered a by-election which the Liberal party’s Alan Beith won, (who’d previously fought Lambton and lost in 1970 election) joining the small number of Liberal MPs that  as the ‘joke’ went, could all fit in a taxi together

Lambton’s scandal was exposed in the News of the World with smoky sepia-tint photos of him in bed with two prostitutes, (presumably as a result of the night photo lens Colin Levy the shadowy special services executive married to S&M prostitute Norma)

“In May 1973 he was exposed by conman Colin Levy, who used a camera hidden behind a peephole in a mirror to photograph the peer in bed with the conman’s prostitute wife Norma Levy, 26, and another woman Kim Pinder, at their flat in Maida Vale. Audio recordings were made using a microphone hidden in a teddy bear’s nose next to Norma’s bed.

It emerged that Norma, known as The Nun, had been part of a 15-strong ring of prostitutes run by society madam Jean Horn, whose clients included Lord Jellicoe, Leader of the House of Lords, who was also forced to resign” [Sex Scandal Lord’s family at war over Lambton estate (Daily Express 11 October 2013)]

“Lambton’s edition of The Recollections of Three Reigns by Queen Victoria’s secretary Sir Frederick Ponsonby ruffled a few feathers by asserting that the new breed of courtiers — drawn from the Services and “insecure in their social position”— was “less effective” than that drawn from the “best families in England”.

But his carefully researched first part of a two-volume study, The Mountbattens (1989), drew widespread criticism for its acerbic portrayal of Earl Mountbatten as a bemedalled social climber who lied about his German ancestry to enhance his claims to royal status. Lambton was persuaded not to persist with the proposed second volume, which was to have dealt with Mountbatten’s career.” (Daily Telegraph Obituary of Lord Lambton, 2 Jan 2007)

“The final by-election triumph, at Berwick-on-Tweed, symbolised my personal attitude to electioneering – and also signalled the end of the road for the Liberal euphoria wagon. The seat became vacant, it will be remembered, because Lord Lambton, the Tory, resigned after being involved in a tawdry affair with London prostitutes. The morality issue was, however, never raised by the Liberals in the campaign, as far as I am aware, and when I spoke there I was determined to ignore it: I do not believe in the politics of the smear. A man’s private life is his own affair.” (Big Cyril, Cyril Smith, p148 published 1978)

‘We won the Berwick seat, and its victor, Alan Beith is arguably the best Parliamentarian at Westminster.” (ibid, p.149)

However, newspapers outside the UK were at the time reporting an international ‘vice’ ring supplying young boys to men in London, Paris and other European capitals [British Sex Scandal may involve others, The Gadsden Times, 22 May 1973]

At no 58 Hamilton Terrace, St John’s Wood, in a road behind Abbey Road Studios (the Abbey was Kilburn Abbey) and  just across the Edgware Road from Little Venice, although very much on the side of Maida Vale), Lord Lambton and his wife Bindy and their children had moved into the art-deco former house of Bindy’s aunt Freda Dudley Ward, the mistress of the Prince of Wales (Edward the Abdicator in 1936) from 1918 – 1923. The year the Lambtons moved in was 1966, also the year Savile first claimed to have made Mountbatten’s acquaintance. Bindy had set about redecorating, having a splendid butterfly shaped swimming pool installed. Seven years later Antony Lambton was to be caught at no 9 Marlborough Court (virtually across the road in a turning off Edgware Road opposite Maida Vale station). While he certainly believed in straying, Lambton didn’t believe on straying far when it came to distance.

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“On about their fifth meeting, she reveals for the first time, he arranged for a handsome young male prostitute, aged about 20, to join them, and asked her to watch him have sex with the man.

I still feel a little embarrassed about that,’ she drawls, sipping strong black coffee. ‘I wasn’t used to seeing two men having sex. I think he was bisexual. But mostly he just liked to smoke pot, and there was a bit of conversation. You know what? We didn’t really have much sex.‘” [Call girl who nearly toppled government, Daily Mail, 26 January 2007)

The story of Freda Dudley Ward, Bindy’s aunt is an interesting tale in itself, setting up the Four Feathers youth charity nearby on behalf of the Prince and run as a Prince of Wales (three feathers being the fur-de-lys of the plumed crown) venture despite the Prince’s apparent disinterest in both Freda and the charity once he had been left by Thelma, in Wallis Simpson’s capable hands.

Maida Vale, W9

As the traditional home of elite escorts for about 150 years, where royalty in particular liked to keep their mistresses, Maida Vale and its local environs is unsurprisingly quite the focal point of a number of scandals over the years. In 1934 the BBC bought the failed 1907 built Edwardian ice skating rink to become BBC Maida Vale Studios in Delaware Road, recording big bands and later where DJ John Peel would record his Radio 1 Peel Sessions, and so the area from thereon in also began to attract broadcasting and musical celebrities of the day. People such as comedian Benny Hill had a flat at Cunningham Court, and according to this article by 1964 actor Victor Beaumont and DJ Alan ‘Fluff” Freeman were Maida Vale residents: Savile and Freeman showed me no pity, says victim abused by BBC DJs when he was just 11, Daily Mail, 22 September 2013

As Edgware Road descends from Kilburn, Cricklewood, cuts through Maida Vale W9 (Maida Hill) it passes the postcodes of NW1 (Marylebone), NW8 (St John’s Wood / Lisson Grove), W2 (Paddington), and nearing central London, heading south towards the corner of Hyde Park occupied by Speaker’s Corner, it ends just before Marble Arch and the former site of the Tyburn gallows (the area is now being renamed Tyburnia in estate agents’ bumf, focused around Connaught Square/Connaught Village where the Blair family townhouse is, along from Portsea Hall where Antony Blunt died at no 45, 6th floor on 26 March 1983, close to the church his father Reverend Stanley Blunt St John’s The Evangelist Hyde Park (see horse riders service in September) had been at when he was a child and had visited his cousin Elizabeth, seven years his senior, who married one of the sons of King George V when Blunt was just 16 in 1923 and lived in Mayfair at Bruton Street, just across from Hyde Park and Park Lane.

“One name that could well appear in Blunt’s description of his early life is that of his cousin, a certain Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon – later, of course, to become the Queen Mother.

Blunt’s mother Hilda was a 2nd cousin of the Earl of Strathmore, Elizabeth’s father.

The young Anthony and his two brothers Christopher and Wilfrid occasionally used to have tea with Elizabeth at the family’s London home in Bruton Street, Mayfair – the house from which she was driven to Westminster Abbey in 1923 (when Blunt was 16) to marry the Duke of York, later King George VI.” [Last Secrets Queen Mother’s favourite traitor: Memoirs of Society Spy Anthony Blunt rock royals, Daily Mail, 27 June 2009]

On Blunt’s father’s side his grandfather had been the Rt Rev Lord Bishop of Hull when his father Rev Arthur Stanley Vaughan Blunt had married Hilda Violet Master at St Andrew’s, Ham, Surrey on 18 October 1900.

Portsea Hall features large in Brian Sewell’s autobiography The Art of Espionage: Antony Blunt & Me, Brian Sewell, The Australian, 15 December 2012)

During the 50s (and possibly beyond) it was Paddington that was crime central, also close to Maida Vale, attracting characters like Jack Spot, the Krays, Billy Hill and Gyp.

Writing in Chiantishire

So despite gallivanting off to landscape a garden in Italy with his mistress (debutante of the year 1954) and become Lord of Chiantishire as folk joked, Lambton continues to nurse something of a grudge for Lord Mountbatten throughout restoring his Italian villa and begins researching and writing what he intends to be a 2 volume account of The Mountbattens. A decade after Mountbatten’s murder in 1979 Lambton publishes his first volume with a back sleeve that reads:

“One of the oldest traceable families in Christendom” – Burke’s Peerage

Or is it?

Blow the dust off the Mountbatten family album and discover the truth behind one of Europe’s most famous royal dynasties. Royal insider Antony Lambton uncovers the real story – a story rife with trumped-up lineage, paternity scandals, and stormy marriages.

In this authoritative history, Lord Lambton sheds light on the illicit union that resulted in the births of Prince Alexander of Hesse and his sister Marie, Empress of Russia. You’ll meet Sandro, the sacked ruler of Bulgaria, who was torn between his duty to the Princess of Prussia and his passion for a seductive actress. You’ll also witness the infamous, trouble-causing marriage of the rakish Alexander and the commoner Julia Hauke.

In many respects the history of the Mountbattens is the history of Europe, and across Lambton’s pages parade some of the continent’s most famous – and notorious – personages” Queen Victoria, George V, Kaiser Wilhelm, Tsar Alexander II and William Gladstone. Even soviet spy Anthony Blunt played a role in the Mountbatten past.”

The Canadian Publishers

Interestingly, Lambton’s publishers are M&S Paperbacks from McClelland & Stewart Inc who feature as their imprint the words ‘The Canadian Publishers’ – a slogan which would not have been lost on Mountbatten had he been alive to see the publication.

Following the disastrous raid on Dieppe where over 3,000 Canadian troops were killed like fish being shot in a barrel in 1942, Lord Beaverbrook (a Canadian media mogul who owned the Express) never let Mountbatten forget. [The wartime raid that shamed Mountbatten, Daily Express, 20 August 2012]

country which following Lord Beaverbrook’s outspoken venom for Mountbatten following Dunkirk is unsurprising.

Over the last 10 years further information has come to light

“Former MI6 agent Lee Tracey told the Mail on Sunday that his bosses wanted to expose Lambton in a bid to embarrass MI5, which had failed to act against his activities.

Mr Tracey claimed he supplied a night-vision lens to the News of the World, which allowed the newspaper’s photographer to take the photograph from a cupboard.

He said he received a phone call telling him to loan the specialist equipment to the paper.

The Echo revealed last month that a security services report into the scandal raised fears that Lambton would be driven to suicide.

The concerns were contained in files released to the National Archive under the 30-year rule, which detailed a Security Commission inquiry by MI5 officer Charles Elwell.” [Lambton ‘victim of MI6 dirty tricks’ Sunderland Echo, 19 Janary 2004]

“This, at least, is Norma’s story. Others suggest that she connived with Levy, and was motivated either by money (she estimates that worldwide newspaper sales of the story made £100,000 – more than £600,000 today) or, more sinisterly, was involved in a conspiracy to discredit Lambton and the government.

Inevitably, Norma dismisses these accusations. However, she believes there is sufficient evidence to suggest that Lambton was the victim of a smear plot, albeit without her knowledge.

For one thing, she questions whether Levy had the expertise or cunning to have set up the hidden camera, which was positioned behind a stereo system in the wardrobe facing her double-bed. To record Lambton’s voice, a listening device was also embedded in the nose of Norma’s giant teddy-bear.

‘Colin was into a lot of deep, heavy stuff. I think the whole thing was set up and he [Lambton] was sacrificed for this big plot,’ she says.

‘I was a pawn in the game, too. It was very sad. Colin knew too much about my life. I started trusting him. I didn’t think he was that type of person. Some people don’t have a conscience about what they do.’

Norma’s theory gains credence when we remember how, three years ago, a retired MI6 operative named Lee Tracey admitted to being part of a ruse to expose Lambton.

Tracey says MI6, responsible for overseas intelligence, was concerned because its home-based sister organisation, MI5, knew Lambton used prostitutes but had done nothing to deter him.

The plot was hatched to embarrass MI5 into action, he said, and he supplied a newspaper with the nightsights for the wardrobe camera.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-431781/Call-girl-nearly-toppled-government-reveals-all.html#ixzz3BMK9EoPa Daily Mail, 26 January 2007)

“Mountbatten had put in charge of the raid’s military intelligence a racing driver playboy chum, the Marquis de Casa Maury, a totally unqualified amateur from Cuba.

The blame, however, was shifted on to the Canadian task force commander Major-General John Roberts, who himself was the victim of poor information and the communications breakdown that characterised the day’s events.

Partly thanks to Dieppe, there has been a major shift in the perception of Mountbatten’s character in recent years.

Historian Andrew Roberts has dealt the hardest hammer blow to his reputation.

He has convincingly depicted “Dickie” Mountbatten as a psychopathically ambitious, vain, disingenuous, manipulative adrenaline junkie and a man who was utterly careless of other people’s lives.

Whether this view is fully justified is debatable but even at the time of Dieppe many military people were wary of Dickie’s cronyism and mad gung-ho schemes.

At the Admiralty he was known as the “Master of Disaster”.

One eminent biographer who admired Mountbatten became so sickened by his subject’s disrespect for the truth that he put a sign on his writing desk: “Remember, in spite of it all, he was a great man.”

Mountbatten was certainly great at public relations and the art of making sure no mud stuck to him.

Montgomery had always thought the raid was absurd and it is a tragedy that his view that it should be called off wasn’t heeded.

When the news came through of the scale of the disaster the press baron Lord Beaverbrook – owner of this newspaper and a Canadian – went puce with rage.

He would have been more furious had he known that vital intelligence from codebreakers at Bletchley Park had been ignored.

Beaverbrook went so far as to call Mountbatten a murderer.

Any stain on Mountbatten’s reputation was defl ected by the timely release, just after Dieppe, of a film based on his life as a naval officer, In Which We Serve.

Noel Coward showed him his fawning script based on the daring adventures of his ship HMS Kelly, which was sunk in 1941 during the Battle of Crete.

Mountbatten supplied Coward with vivid stories, stating that he and the survivors had been machine-gunned in the water, an event that appears in the film but which none of his shipmates recall happening.

COWARD played the Captain in the film that did a great deal to secure the Mountbatten legend in the general public’s mind. Roberts states that Mountbatten saw it 11 times.” [The wartime raid that shamed Mountbatten, Daily Express, 20 August 2012]

The chap in charge of the Dieppe raid as appointed by Mountbatten – the Marques de Casa Maury, was the second husband of Freda Dudley-Ward (Edward the Abdicator’s ex) who had been married to her and living at No.58 Hamilton Terrace from 1938 in their much architecturally applauded house commissioned from architects Burnet, Tait & Lorne (see Wikipedia Freda Dudley Ward further). Later to become Lambton’s family home in London when he was caught on camera in Maida Vale.

 Acknowledgements & the Curious Incident of the Closed Archives

“To Lord Brabourne who courteously answered my letters making it plain I was not to see any of the Battenberg Archives. This in itself was as interesting as Sherlock Holme’s dog, who did not bark in the night. It made me draw the conclusion that every author who was not prepared to accept the Mountbatten myth would be starved of information.” (Acknowledgements, The Mountbattens, Antony Lambton, below (1989))

Lord Brabourne (1928 – 2005) served as Aide-De-Camp to Mountbatten in South-East Asia

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The eldest daughter of Queen Victoria had married the Crown Prince of Germany who became Emperor Frederick III. Empress Vicky “developed a passionate wish her daughter should marry (against her father and mother0in-law’s wishes) Alexander of Battenberg. She persecuted her dying husband to agree to the match which would have ensured Bismarck’s resignation. Her letters were as fanatical as those of the last Tsarina’s, her niece.” (Lambton, caption under photo of the Emperor and Empress, p.193)

Christopher of Hesse-Cassel (grandson of Crown Princess, Vicky – Christopher was the son of her daughter Princess Margaret who had married Prince Frederick Charles of Hesse-Cassel)

“was a half-mad extremist, the associate and companion of Himmler. The wild seeds in his furious mind may have been planted by his unluckily tainted grandfather as they were in his elder brother, Prince Philip, a friend of Goering’s, who as made a general of the Storm Troopers in 1933. An enthusiastic Nazi, he admired violence and was used as a sycophantic go-between Hitler and Mussolini and Hitler and his cousin the Duke of Windsor. The latter connection may have saved him from imprisonment for after his release from Dachau he was immediately arrested on 9 April 1945 by the Americans as Target 53 in the Nazi heriarchy rounded up for interrogation. Successful British pressure prevented an embarrassing trial.

Shortly before his arrest King George VI sent his librarian and, of all people, Anthony Blunt, to retrieve secret papers considered damaging to the British royal family from his house, Freidrichschof. It is unlikely they, as suggested, related to Queen Victoria and likely they referred to Prince Philip’s wooing of the Duke of Windsor with offers of a crown. hey are now buried in Windsor but as Blunt saw them it is likely that any interesting information was passed on to the Russians.” [Lambton, p.141.-142]

In 1988 Mask of Treachery by John Costello was published on the Blunt affair, also referred to by Robin Harbinson in The Dust has never Settled: “Using newly discovered top-secret British and American reports, and confirming the resulting analysis with veterans of British intelligence and the CIA, this book uncovers a sophisticated Soviet plan to infiltrate their agents into the highest levels of British and American societies. 16 pages of photos.” Yet to be read.

More to come on Lambton’s Introduction which gives a psychologically sensitive portrayal of young Mountbatten watching his father be castigated for his Germanic lienage despite reaching heights of First Admiral, and the bullying he suffered as a result growing up during WWI.

 

 

Savile, McLaren, the Great Child Abuse Swindle of 1980 and beyond

Over the years, an assortment of musicians, authors, TV presenters, comedians and satirists have hinted at the old cliche of truth being stranger than fiction (just a whole lot less publishable) with regard to what was in circulation as to Savile’s abusive and sinister side:

“It’s common for fiction writers to get round issues of legality or taste by creating a composite figure with nudgingly familiar details. While Savile was still alive, the crime-writer Val McDermid featured a character called Jacko Vance (Savile’s middle-name was Vince) in the Wire in the Blood books. Played in the TV adaptations by John Michie, Vance is a much-loved Northern TV celebrity who hid a predilection for raping and torturing young women” (Mark Lawson, The Guardian, New Tricks: was the series finale actually about Jimmy Savile? 31 October 2012)

1. 1978: The Great Child Abuse Swindle, Johnny Rotten & what McLaren knew

2. 1984: Jilly Cooper, Barnes Common, Elm Guest House and the ‘Activities’

3. 1987: Jerry Sadowitz & Savile ‘an expert in child abuse’

4. 1988: Savile on BBC’s Open To Question facing an incisive audience of teenagers

5. 1994 (4th January and 26th December): Jeremy Hardy and Chris Morris mock Savile with very different outcomes

6. 1997 & 2011: Val McDermid & Jacko Vance ‘Wire in the Blood’ and ‘The Retribution’

7. 1996: Irvine Welsh & Freddy Royle in ‘Lorraine goes to Livingstone’

8. 1998: Skinner & Baddiel ITV’s Fantasy World Cup 

9. 1999: Terry Wogan comments on Savile ‘haunting the corridors’ of the BBC

10. 2007 (June – November): Angus Deayton ‘rapped’ or ‘censured’ for delivering scripted remarks?

 

1. 1978: The Great Child Abuse Swindle: Johnny Rotten & what McLaren knew about ‘corruption and hypocrisy that underlay Top of the Pops’

“It’s easier to list the people I don’t want to kill.”

“I’d like to kill Jimmy Savile. He’s a hypocrite. I’ve heard he’s into all kinds of seediness which we all know about but aren’t allowed to talk about. I know some rumours. Aren’t I a bitch,” sneers Johnny Rotten in his sullen whisper.

“I’ve seen how supposed antichrists turned into bourgeoisie, Bond Street shops, the McLarens have opened a new shop in Bond Street. Yes I find that really strange.”

In 1978 Savile, aged 51-52, was busy penning God’ll Fix It, and joining Lord Longford et al on their Porn report jaunts, having escaped unscathed from the BBC Payola report of Brian Neill QC in 1971, ending with Janie Jones prosecution in 1974 (whom Savile later quizzes on Myra Hindley offering his own opinion). Despite the tragic suicide of Clare Uffland (Savile abuse girl labelled ‘delusional’ after suicide˚) and the convenient loss of her diary,  Savile’s subsequent reckoning with God (or as God?), during his December 1976  ‘moment of enquiry’ at Qumran, Dead Sea, sees him as satisfied with the direction in which he has taken his life.

Post Sex Pistols Fred Vermorel gives an astonishing glimpse into McLaren’s agenda, specifically in fuelling the music industry’s interest in paedophilia with his 1980 launch of Bow Wow Wow and an attempt to launch a magazine called ‘Chicken’, formerly named ‘Playkids’:  From the Archives: ‘At the end they even stole his death’, Fred Vermorel, 24 March 2014 – GQ magazine

“I now saw Malcolm’s plot. This was to embroil EMI and everyone else in a paedophile sex scandal. That would make Bow Wow Wow even more notorious than the Sex Pistols.”

Maurice Oberstein (1928 – 2001), was credited as being one of the ‘chief Architects of the UK record industry’ (The Independent Obituary, 25 August 2001). Oberstein appears to have worked hard at creating an image of zany eccentricity and creative flair through a range of gimmicks. Below is a clip of Oberstein in 1985  at the Brit Awards with one of his dogs named after record executives he admired… and would pretend to take the advice of in business meetings – see Vermorel’s article for more on gimmicks used by Oberstein like ‘Talk to the hat’.

“[Malcolm’s] other agenda was a genuine contempt for the music industry. He used to say the music industry was run by child molesters, meaning it fiddled with the sexuality of young kids to peddle bands. And of course, that is true.

He would illustrate his point with a lurid anecdote of how one evening he and a companion visited the legendary CBS executive Maurice Oberstein at home.  Here, they found a young boy naked under a blanket on the sofa. Oberstein boasted he’d picked the boy up at a railway station. For Malcolm, that symbolised the corruption and hypocrisy that underlay Top of the Pops, and all the other music biz rigmarole.

But rather than denounce Oberstein, he sought to expose this latent industry paedophilia by exacerbating it. A situationist tactic that could also have been taken from the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, who commended “the ecstasy of making things worse.”

Malcolm just loved “making things worse.” At the expense of anyone in the way.  Including 12 -year-old girls and photographers. Including me.”

Billboard Magazine, 26 July 1980

Billboard Magazine, 26 July 1980

 

2. 1984: Jilly Cooper, Barnes Common, Elm Guest House and the ‘Activities’

“During the ten years she lived at the edge of Putney Common Jilly Cooper walked daily on this expanse of green. For most of the time she lived there she kept a diary, noting the effects of the changing seasons and writing about her encounters with dogs and humans. The book is a distillation of those diaries: an affectionate and enthralling portrait – warts and all – of life on Putney Common. Never has Jilly Cooper written more lyrically about flowers, trees, birds and the natural world; more tellingly about the sorrows – as well as the joys – of caring for dogs and children; or more outrageously about the gossip, illicit romances and jealousies of life in a small community.” [From the Amazon synopsis]

For the newspaper coverage during August 1982 see Spotlight: Elm Guest House (The History of a Cover-Up) and Spotlight: In 1981 police were already investigation ‘child pornography ring’ linked to trafficking and murder and Keith Vaz and the Mystery of Barnes Common

Putney Common merges into Barn Elms Playing Field which Elm Guest House, no 27 Rocks Lane faced onto (MPs and Judges visited Elm Guest House, Coroner’s Court told, Exaro, 15 December 2012 and Met told of Savile’s link to Elm Guest House, Exaro, 16 February 2014). Jilly Cooper moved to the Cotswolds in 1982 leaving London behind and had her first big hit in fiction with Riders in 1985.

Fronting as a gay-friendly B&B used by politicians such as Sir Cyril Smith and Sir Nicholas Fairbairn (Solicitor Advocate for Scotland under Thatcher- more on him as defence counsel for spies in Dunoon here) and with reported links to Savile, it is also alleged the B&B catered to celebrities and members of the Establishment across a variety of institutions as well, all suggesting the small quaint Edwardian Elm Guest House was the source of a fair amount of gossip amongst locals if not for what was going on behind the curtains, but for the mere fact of the possibility of spotting a famous face disappearing through a non-descript door. Not least it seems from the gay house share four doors down from no 27 who share the gossip about the Elm Guest House ‘activities’ and wish to make it clear that being gay does not equate to being a child abuser, a point always worth noting. Where are those neighbours now 30+ years later?

 

Jilly Cooper's The Common Years

 3. 1987: Jerry Sadowitz & Savile ‘an expert in child abuse’

http://vimeo.com/52162279

Nine years later, in the midst of the Cleveland Child Abuse scandal and the year Savile turned  61, Jerry Sadowitz  “don’t fuck about, get an expert in, Jimmy Savile” (on which more to come from  Tony Really Loves Me, Sir Stuart Bell MP’s 2000 autobiography and his crassly titled When Salem came to the Boro published in 1989). In the 1997 documentary broadcast on Tuesday 27 May ‘The death of childhood’ was shown on Channel 4, it was reported that 93 of the 121 children at the centre of the affair had been fond by the courts to be at risk of abuse and yet, as has happened in Sir Stuart Bell’s Guardian Obituary from 13 October 2012 it still had to be edited for the repeated myth that the Cleveland Abuse Scandal was a lot of nonsense cooked up by social workers and doctors.

 

The Independent, 26 May 1997

The Independent, 26 May 1997

 

4. 1988: Savile on BBC’s Open To Question

Not strictly falling into the arena of artistic licence giving expression to truth when suppressed but more an example of where the Emperor’s New Ideology falls down like in the face of inquisitive youth, it was after all, the children who pointed out the Emperor was naked. A well-prepared 18-year old Krishnan Guru-Murthy hosts incisive questions from an audience of 16-18 year olds directed at Savile – the first of which suggests he is obsolete. At 11:40 a question is asked which places the programme at some point after Savile had been appointed to the Taskforce at Broadmoor, and turning Broadmoor into a holiday camp. Savile gets increasingly voluble and defensive to comments like  “you seem to be quite an egotist.” A tiny glimpse into what he would have been like had he ever been put on trial perhaps?

[What bike factory in Londonderry did Savile open?]

5. 1994 (4th January and 26th December): Jeremy Hardy and Chris Morris mock Savile with very different outcomes

Within seven years of Sadowitz making his biting comments on Cleveland, mocking Savile appeared to become a more mainstream sport during 1994, sandwiched between a brilliantly drafted letter published in The Independent (4th January 1994) by Jeremy Hardy who scathes his way through an obituary to Jim’ll Fix It and doesn’t hear a peep from Jimmy (now aged 67-68) –  to a fake obituary from Chris Morris on Boxing Day which sees Morris suspended from the BBC and starts 1995 with Savile suing the BBC for ruining his Christmas.

Dear Sir Jimmy Savile: A comedian’s words of valediction to the nation’s trusted uncle

“It is with great sadness that I hear of the demise of Jim’ll Fix It, the show that made children’s dreams come true, especially recurring nightmares about old men in track suits. We shall all miss that showcase for a great English eccentric, with his extrovert clothes and jewellery. I often think that if you had been an entertainer, you would have been a sort of heterosexual Quentin Crisp: the white hair, the baubles, the affected halting speech, the air of a time that has passed.

I stress your heterosexuality because, with all the speculation about the private life of Britain’s favourite bachelor, it has never been suggested in any quarter that your preference is for anything but the female. Indeed, you have regaled us with anecdotes about your dalliances, some of which happened in the middle of marathon races] You put the ‘fun’ in ‘fun run’.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 16.43.15I always thought that if there had been a glamorous assistant on the show, you might have married. But it was never to be. Rather than have a family of your own, you became a trusted uncle to the nation’s children. In a way you are rather like God, only with money.

Over the years you have raised a great deal of money for charity. It might even be said that you made a career of it. I know you are rather modest about your good works, and a lot of the things you get up to never make the headlines, but perhaps it was your agent or publicist who let slip every so often that as well as being a fundraiser and jogger you also do unpaid work as a hospital porter, such is your love of pushing the disabled around.

You clearly adore those less fortunate than yourself, which means most of us. But people with disabilities have had a special place in your studio. You wanted to elevate them from the status of mere people and make them mascots for the nation, filling our screens as a reminder that, but for the grace of God, we could look like that too.

As an active Conservative, you wish to free them from the shackles of welfare and public provision, remove the stain of dignity and independence, return them to the private sector with only the munificence of patronage to grovel to. One request before you go. My little girl would like there to be a National Health Service when she grows up. Can you fix it for her?

Your friend,

Jeremy Hardy”

By August 1994 Morris had already been suspended for 2 weeks for a fake obituary of Michael Heseltine MP a (The Independent, 21 August 1994) and was now required to work pre-recorded as opposed to live on air. On Boxing Day during a 2 hour show Morris did a fake obituary on BBC Radio 1 stating Savile had died, going out with a bang a the end of 6 months, one wonders whether he always knew he’d have to save Savile till last due to his litigiousness? Savile sued the BBC claiming it ruined his Christmas.

I am intrigued to read “Grave concerns” [The Times, Joseph, Joe (4 March 1995)] where a programme called The Obituary Show on Channel 4 included Savile reading his own obituary. “Now it is being repeated and Savile dies for us once again.” Please, no one join in with Savile’s edging ever closer to his own Christly self-image building. Would be interesting to see what Savile’s self-assessment in his own obituary for the programme tells us twenty years after Qumran in 1976 and sixteen years prior to his actual death.

The Times, 4 March 1995

The Times, 4 March 1995

 

6. 1997 & 2011: Val McDermid & Jacko Vance ‘Reality may be like this’ says Ruth Rendell

 

“Val McDermid grew up in a Scottish mining community then read English at Oxford. She was a journalist for sixteen years, spending the last three years as Northern Bureau Chief of a national Sunday tabloid.” When McDermid met Savile in 1977 she was working for the Sunday People in Manchester. She’d been so struck by his barely masked air of menace,that twenty or so years later her encounter with Savile and the rumours constantly circling him helped her create the character of a serial killer masking his means to dispose of bodies in morgues with volunteer charity work.

In the early hours of the morning on 1 October 2012, a few days before the ITV Exposure programme on Savile was due to be broadcast (with newspapers speculating on Savile’s darker alter ego), Val McDermid, the Scottish crime author tweeted:

@valmcdermid@bindelj I had Savile very much at the front of my mind when I created Jacko Vance in The Wire in the Blood…5:35 AM – 1 Oct 12

 

She said: “When I was working as a journalist there was always stuff about Jimmy Savile and young girls and stories that he was a serial predator.

“But it was a story we could never stand up because we could never get enough credible witnesses or a critical mass of people to make it happen.

“There was always talk but we never got to the stage of interviewing people who could make claims against him.”

She eventually told the story in another way – by penning two books featuring Jacko Vance – a serial-killing sexual predator who works as a chat show host and who enjoys watching the terminally ill die in hospital.

Ms McDermid now admits she largely based the character of Vance on Savile when she created him for her book The Wire in the Blood.

She added: “Jimmy Savile was very much in my mind when I wrote that character.” I based psycho on Jimmy Savile says Val McDermid [The Daily Record 28 October 2012]

I’d never read any Val McDermid so I did what any ex-book club member short on time and not having read the book does during their lunchtime… peruse the amazon reviews hoping for a plot spoiler and in doing so came across this:

Amazon reviewers said:

“In this case, the serial killer is a high-profile public personality described as the third most trusted person in England. McDermid’s descriptions of the hunt for this murderer, including the tangents and false leads, are well done. On the down side, the reader may have trouble keeping track of the many characters with common English names. McDermid’s graphic portrayals of the killer’s brutality may churn some stomachs.”

But it’s fellow crime novelist, Ruth Rendell, who comes closest to the mark with her review of the book:

‘This is a shocking book, stunningly exciting, horrifyingly good.

It is so convincing that one fears reality may be like this and these events the awful truth’

Ruth Rendell

Well precisely, and never more so than now it’s been revealed just how many similarities between Jacko and Jimmy were inspired by the rumours circulating Savile at the time. An attempt at a plot precis, now having read the book (very good I’ll read others but this one is over-shadowed by presence of Savile which renders it unenjoyable):

Jacko Vance, the third most trusted person in England, is a celebrity based in Yorkshire like Savile. The action is set mostly in Leeds and also at the coast to the East (Scarborough/Whitby way?) Jacko shares a distinct hatred for women with Jimmy (barring Savile’s few exceptions, notably ‘The Duchess’) and was on the surface a genial do-gooding celebrity. Jacko’s darker motive in volunteering for the local hospital in the morgue was a key to the morgue for late night access to burn body parts, including his own victims he’d imprisoned, tortured and raped.

Savile’s Autobiography As it Happens: An excerpt on “Frying My Own Pal”

 “Things happen to me that don’t really happen to normal people. A friend of mine in the South of England died and I went along to his cremation. On such occasions I really try to be inconspicuous but I am very difficult to disguise. Sure enough, creeping in behind a handful of mourners I am spotted by an eagle-eyed gardner. A tap on the shoulder and I am invited, by nods and motions, behind the scenes to the business half of the crematorium. Politely showing an interest in the somewhat gruesome impedimenta I am offered the well meant but astounding job of frying my own pal. This I do, guided by the experts, and rake out his ashes an hour and twenty minutes and several cups of tea later.” (As it Happens, p.118)

“To emphasize the wide variety of my happenings a husband once said he admited the work I did so much, would I like to make love to his wife of less than a year? This is I declined, but at the other end of the spectrum, at a hospital I had just called in at, I was asked by the short-staffed head porter if I could lay out the remains of an old man who had just been burned to death and his next of kin were coming within the next hour. This job I accepted because after all these years in the hospital world I am now quite good at that sort of thing.” (p.119)

Savile had waxed lyrical about death and being near death, as well as happening to hang out at the morgue in his autobiography As it Happens(1974) – Dan Davies gets across the repetitive monotony of Savile’s recurrent anecdotes, each a little parable in cold fear in In Plain Sight (2014) – and so any author seeking inspiration would have been able to read of this from 1974 onwards.

Jimmy was originally asked to help with the radio at Leeds General Infirmary, instead requesting Joe Tyrer, Head General Porter let him work in the morgue. Joe accompanied Jimmy and The Duchess to Buckingham Palace for his OBE in 1972. As to what he got up to in the morgue, Paul Gambaccini

So despite certain marked similarities, the ‘outlandish’ suggestion of Jimmy being a serial killer who used his morgue access to cover up his own crimes and otherwise treat it as his own personal playground, plus the fact Jacko was described handsome and charming, was sufficient subterfuge to mask the parallels between them to both Jimmy and the rest of us.

Since that first tweet Val has kept on speaking to newspapers, loudly and clearly: Scottish crime writer Val McDermid – Leading Tory will be named as a paedophile alongside Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith (Daily Record, 30 August 2013)

7. 1996: Irvine Welsh & Freddy Royle in Lorraine Goes to Livingstone

Following Paul Gambaccini’s revelations regarding Savile’s necrophiliac interests of 23 October 2012 live on air and much to Nicky Campbell’s consternation, less than 3 weeks after the ITV programme exposing Savile, The Evening Standard published Irvine Welsh model Ecstasy necophiliac on Jimmy Savile? (Evening Standard, 24 October 2012) as a number of twitter users started to comment on the similarities in an Irvine Welsh novella they’d read.  A character in Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy: Three tales of chemical romance novel, written in 1996, published in 1997, in the first section called Lorraine Goes to Livingstone, was the necrophiliac blackmailer Freddy Royle. In an interview with VICE magazine (31 October 2013) Welsh confirmed that he’d “heard some stories from people who work in the hospitals about Savile” and “it was also interesting to me that he was too big to take down.” (Irvine Welsh doesn’t regret choosing life, Nathalie Olah, VICE, 31 October 2013)

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 09.45.46

VICE Magazine, 31 October 2013, Irvine Welsh doesn’t regret choosing life

“..Freddy Royle, a necrophiliac TV personality. The hospital trustees turn a blind eye to Freddy’s nefarious pastime but have to do some fast talking when the new coroner begins asking questions.” Irvine Welsh

Rebecca Navarro, best-selling authoress of Regency romances, suffers a paralysing stroke. Assisted by her nurse Lorraine, originally from St Hubbins hospital, Rebecca plans her revenge on her unfaithful husband, Perky. Freddy Royle, hospital trustee, celebrity and necrophiliac, volunteers at the hospital and pays off morgue staff in order to abuse corpses. Perky and Royle run into one another at a Soho bookshop they chat casually over selecting porn.

When a famous rugby player dies at the hospital, the new pathologist Geoffrey Clements draws the attention of Alan Sweet, to the fact that the rugby player has been anally raped after death. Alan attempts to imply semen present would be due to changing room antics but Clements demands an inquiry. Alan and Freddy choloroform Clements and video him drugged being sexually assaulted/raped by two prostitutes as blackmail material.

As early as 1996 rumours of Savile’s necrophiliac driven desire for access to morgues was already in circulation since interestingly, both McDermid and Welsh choose to set scenes focusing on where, until recent reports of Savile’s necrophiliac activities, mainstream media was choosing not to go.

 

“Let me dwell on the phenomenon of being famous. I’ve not really had much time to think of it before. When I was ordinary I used to go to a turkish bath in Leeds. Sitting in the steam room would be an assortment of glistening, naked men. I used to wonder, why is that naked body rich and that one not? They look so alike now. It was easy to see why a rugby player was not a rugby player. God had just dished out a heavier or more muscular body than the norm. But why should one naked body command respect from another and what was the charisma that put one man well above his neighbour when we all sweated the same. I searched long for the answer.” (As It Happens, Savile, 1974, p. 75)

 

Nigel Hards, a former Thomas Cook employee in the Peterborough Telegraph 1 November 2011 – “recounted how Savile liked working at the mortuary at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, ‘because he thought it would be easier for loved ones if he was there when they came in.” (In Plain Sight, Dan Davies, Loc 7572). See further on my question as to whether Savile was on duty the night his old dancehall colleague from Ilford Palais, Bert Ambrose, was brought into Leeds General Infirmary Accident & Emergency?

 

8. 1998: Skinner & Baddiel ITV’s Fantasy World Cup – reminiscing on Skinner’s previous Savile

A letter from the mother of an 8 year old girl is read out asking when Skinner’s  Jimmy Savile World Cup comment slot would return as a feature of the show – Baddiel replies – “Jimmy Savile loves 8 year old girls don’t they, I won’t go on” and Skinner retorts “Jimmy Savile will love her slot, that’s what I’m saying”, and then proceeds to do a Jimmy Savile impression, which they then re-run with Skinner dressed up for full effect.

We need to talk about Jimmy: David Baddiel on why we shouldn’t let the Savile scandal sour the mood of a nation (Daily Mail, 29 December 2012).

9. 1999: Terry Wogan quips on Savile ‘haunting the corridors’ of BBC’s Broadcasting House

“I’ve heard stories of a strange haunted looking figure walking the corridors of Broadcasting House late at night, making a weird wailing noise, but enough of Jimmy Savile…”

10. 2007 (June – November): Angus Deayton ‘rapped’ or ‘censured’ for delivering scripted remarks?

Deayton rapped for Jimmy Savile gag (The Guardian, John Plunkett, Monday 5 November 2007)

Angus Deayton has been censured by the BBC for making a “pungently personal” joke about Sir Jimmy Savile and his late mother.

Deayton made the remark on BBC1 panel show Would I Lie To You?, his most high-profile job for the BBC since he was sacked from Have I Got News For You? five years ago.

“Sir Jimmy is quite keen on seeing how blue mouldy bits develop,” said Deayton.

“That’s why he stayed with his mum so long after she died. The blue bit in cheese is in fact a living fungus that smells slightly off and serves no useful purpose – much like Sir Jimmy himself nowadays.”

But not all the audience appeared to appreciate the joke. Nor did one of the show’s two regular team captains, Lee Mack, who told Deayton: “I am sorry but that is well out of order.”

The BBC’s editorial complaints unit intervened following a complaint from a viewer who said the joke had exceeded the bounds of acceptability.

“The scripted remarks, which focused on Sir Jimmy’s age and stories which had been current at the time of his mother’s death more than 25 years ago, were out of keeping with the tone of the preceding material and more pungently personal than warranted by his position in the public eye,” the ECU said.

The complaints unit, which deals with serious complaints about breaches of the BBC’s editorial standards, upheld the viewer’s complaint.

Deayton’s joke was included in an episode of Would I Lie To You? broadcast on BBC1 on July 28 this year.

It followed a part of the show in which guest panellist Claudia Winkleman admitted once writing to Jim’ll Fix It to ask to meet Abba.

She was offered the chance to find out how the blue bits were made in cheese instead.

The ECU said the issue would be discussed with the show’s producers – it is made by Zeppotron, part of Big Brother producer Endemol – and added the episode would not be repeated in its present form.”

Would I lie to You? (broadcast on 28th June 2007) was Deayton’s first re-appearance after 5 years largely spent in the televisual-panel-quiz-show-genre-wilderness following his sacking from the BBC for  a scandal involving prostitutes and cocaine use. If the Savile rumours were now ‘old news’ they’d circulated so widely, you’d see how one might feel a little narked at the hypocrisy if Savile’s behaviour appears to be puzzlingly both tolerable and employable by the BBC, especially as when made clear by the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit’s response, the remarks were scripted in any event?