Remembering Jimmy Saville

Sir Jimmy Savile who was discovered dead at his Leeds home today, Saturday 29th October, 2011. Archive pictures from the file at Scarborough Evening News.
Sir Jimmy Savile who was discovered dead at his Leeds home today, Saturday 29th October, 2011. Archive pictures from the file at Scarborough Evening News.

THE death of Sir Jimmy Saville has saddened two Pocklington residents who befriended the legendary broadcaster after meeting him in Melbourne.

Marie Hardcastle, 80, and June Beal, 76, of Pem Lane, first met Sir Jimmy when he was working for a Yorkshire newspaper and they were staying at an agricultural hostel in Melbourne in the early 1950s.

Marie Hardcastle and June Beal

Marie Hardcastle and June Beal

He went to the hostel to interview the workers and soon became a frequent visitor, becoming friends with both Marie and June.

He would cycle across to Melbourne from Leeds most Sundays and Marie even remembers giving the television star refuge from hordes of screaming girls who had spotted him at a Pocklington fish and chip shop.

She said: “I was living on The Oval at the time and had been out to the pictures.

“I had just taken my girdle off because it had been bothering me all night and then there was a knock on the door and it was one of my Estonian friends with Jimmy Saville!

“I wish I’d kept my girdle on!”

The women sometimes travelled to the various fun-runs that Sir Jimmy took part in and met up with the star in Scarborough when the Queen Mary 2 sailed past the resort.

June said: “He spent a lot of time at the camp with us and we all got to know him.

“We have seen him quite a few times over the years and it was sad to hear of his death.

“He was a very nice man, he raised a lot of money for charity and was more sensible than he appeared - he acted the fool but was actually a very clever man.”

Sir Jimmy, who presented the first ever episode of Top of The Pops as well as his long-running show Jim’ll Fix It, died at his home in Leeds on Saturday just two days before his 85th birthday.

His death came after a spell in hospital earlier this month with a suspected bout of pneumonia.

It is not known how Sir Jimmy died but it is believed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.