In Plain Sight – The life and lies of Jimmy Saville by Dan Davies


Saville, we learn from this book,  stumbled on “The power of oddness”. This power gave him access to jobs, money, government, royalty, but most chillingly to hundreds of children in vulnerable positions.

Davies charts Saville through interweaving  two consecutive time frames, a chronological biography and the fallout from the failed Newsnight investigation. It’s an excellently told tale of a depraved man with a large sexual appetite that he attempted to sate at every opportunity.

Some of the victims interviewed here give heart breaking accounts. This is one 12-year-old hospital victim who Saville rapes and assaults desperately posting a letter on torn out pages of the Bible into the ward post box addressed to ‘The Doctors”.

“To the doctor.Your porter hurt me. Please ring my Dad.”

It’s a book that makes you feel rather grubby and by the end being this close to Saville has somehow soiled you to. But I’m glad I have read it as I hadn’t realised the full extent of his depravity.

David Hare in the Guardian sums it up quite nicely.

 Four hundred and fifty people have so far made allegations of sexual abuse against Savile. Across 28 police areas in England and Wales, he is known to have committed 214 criminal offences in 50 years.

There are 31 allegations of rape, half of them against minors, and Dame Janet Smith’s independent review at the BBC is believed to be about to claim that up to 1,000 young people may have been abused by Savile in the corporation’s dressing rooms.

All religions rely on the notion of redemption, but the only redeeming feature of Savile’s life is that he has posthumously lucked into such a clear‑eyed and morally conscientious biographer.

Prince Charles once wrote “Nobody will ever know what you have done for this country, Jimmy.” They do now.

David Hare, The Guardian


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