On Monday night ABC2 will screen a 2000 documentary in which Louis Theroux interviewed the late Jimmy Savile.
Savile, as we all know, is now the subject of UK police investigations into alleged abuse involving hundreds of potential victims.
This time capsule episode sees Theroux spending a week with the famed British personality at home, charity events and on holidays (the doco is so old it’s even in 4:3 not 16:9).
This week I asked Louis Theroux if he wanted to comment on his meeting with Savile in light of recent news, but he declined due to the sensitivity of the situation in the UK.
To me, that said a lot anyway.
There’s one moment in this special where Savile, forever puffing on a cigar and giving punchlines, is asked about being a former boxer. He tells Theroux he is still fit…. fit in hundreds of girls schools across England.
But the most telling moment of all was this exchange, when Louis asked him why he said he hates kids:
JS: “Obviously I don’t hate kids. But we live in a very funny world. It’s easier for me to say ‘I don’t like children’ because that puts salacious tabloid people off the hunt.”
LT: “Are you basically saying that’s so tabloids don’t pursue this whole ‘Is he, isn’t he a paedophile? line basically'”
JS: “Yeah. How do they know whether I am or not? How does anybody know whether I am? Nobody knows whether I am or not. I know I’m not. So I can tell you from experience, the easy way of doing it when they say ‘[inaudiblle] children, Jim’ll Fix It‘ is to say ‘Yeah I hate ’em.'”
LT: “See to me that sounds more suspicious in a way.”
JS: “That’s my policy. That’s the way it goes.”
LT: “Has it worked?”
JS: “A dream.”
When Louis met Jimmy 8pm Monday November 12 on ABC2