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'Jimmy Savile was like a brother to me'

By citizenmike  |  Posted: January 11, 2013

  • Paralysed firefighter George Ridgeon was good friend of Jimmy Savile

  • Jimmy Savile

  • George Ridgeon with Savile and others back in 1981

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Paedophile Jimmy Savile's prolific sex abuse is 'deeply upsetting' one of his closest friends has said.

Paralysed firefighter George Ridgeon, from Churchdown, became Savile's friend at Stoke Mandeville Hospital after he sustained injuries in a failed fire rescue in 1981.

Savile was visiting the hospital with Princess Diana at the time.

George has since collected £3,000 worth of memorabalia such as Savile's sofa and running vest.

But he says the items still have 'sentimental value' and has not parted with them.

George said: "It is deeply upsetting reading all this stuff about him if you've got a friend who you look at like an big brother and they say he's done this and that.

"I say what about the good things he did. He was a nice bloke.

"If he has done any of the things he is accused of then he must have had a mental health problem.

Savile died on October 29 last year, aged 84, and his friend George wishes he was still alive to answer the accusations.

Children as young as eight were abused by him, a report detailing 50 years of allegations has revealed today.

The Met Police and NSPCC outlined offences at hospitals across the country.

Some 214 crimes were recorded across 28 police force areas, including 34 of rape or penetration.

It makes him one of the UK's most prolific paedophiles ever.

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  • ShireMe  |  January 13 2013, 2:40PM

    Agree with what many are saying here. If what we are to read in the press is true then Saville was indeed a very bad person. Unfortunately clearly the reason why its only come out AFTER he is dead was because if he was put on trial today, how many of his still living confederates, presumably in positions of influence, would he be rolling over on?

    Rate 0
  • spindles12  |  January 11 2013, 9:18PM

    I collect childrens' annuals and, unfortunately, one of them is the Jim'll Fix It annual. It's dated 1980 so possibly he was well into his "ways" by then but in an article by him there are some interesting facts about the programme. He wrote that he was very firm in telling the BBC what he didn't want. Someone had suggested a boy throwing a custard pie at his friend but:- "That's out" I said "no stupid violence!" When questioned about objecting to custard pie throwing he said "Not only that, but a lot more too. We can fill our show with lots of really great things. Violence, lavatory jokes, sex and such like can go in all the other shows that want them". He wouldn't have anything to do with Kojak or Clint Eastwood type programmes as Jim"ll Fix It wasn't the place for that type of action. Very principled in some things but obviously not in others. Apparently the programme was never intended to be a children's programme, it was just that young people took it over. He liked having old people on the show and spoke of a 76 year old and another of 103 but he also said "I must confess that the younger the fix-it the more we all seem to enjoy it". I bet he did. Another article talks about his work in hospitals. He said "the doctors are entirely happy to have me there. They have got a serious job to do and, if they have forty patients to deal with, they won't have a lot of time to deal with one patient. If they know I am in the hospital they may phone and say "Jim, can you nip along to Ward 28, third bed on the left?" He talked about a six year old girl who wouldn't say a word to anybody so the doctors sent for him and he got her to speak by taking a doll along and getting her to talk about that while the doctors listened from behind the curtains. Knowing what we know now, this is all rather distasteful. Regarding the remarks made by IVW, I think that not in Saville's case but especially some of the others who are being investigated, the word "bandwagon comes to mind. Back in the late 1960s when I was a Special Constable I used to patrol around the Regal when there were live shows on. The teenage girls would do anything including climbing onto the roof, to try and get to see their idols. They thought they were in seventh heaven if they were allowed into the dressing rooms and if a star put an arm round them or went further, far from feeling they had been assaulted they looked on it as a thrill and were bragging to their friends. I really can't see how anyone can be prosecuted for something that happened, or didn't happen so many years ago.

    Rate   2
  • CTFCScout  |  January 11 2013, 9:06PM

    Saville was a vile human being, but let's also have a look at the following people as well: Harriet Harman - Legal Secretary for the Paedophile Information Line in the 1970s and fought for the age of consent to be lowered with Margaret Oppenheimer (now Margaret Hodge). Jack Straw - Brought in legislation in 2009 that abused children could not name their victims. His brother is a known paedophile. Geoffrey Robinson - Had a 'cosy' relationship with Dunblane killer Thomas Hamilton. No wonder why he was so keen to shut the files on Dunblane for 100 years! Tony Blair and Cherie Booth/Blair- for meddling in Operation Ore. Gordon Brown and Alec Salmond - covering up sex abuse cases in Scotland including Hollie Greig.

    Rate 0
  • IVW__  |  January 11 2013, 8:34PM

    I am afraid GlosGrumpyGit is correct and I agree. Trial by The Sun for a dead man? Do we really want that, so discontented were they, that they put his demolished grave on their front page as a 'Look we got him' - journalism at its most base. Surely you readers are more intellegent than that? Remember before they announced that some compensation was possibly on the cards? There were about 30 victims. In the following few weeks it jumped to over 300. Before anyone posts 'How can you support him' type posts, or wants to give me a lecture on child abuse, please don't bother.I am not supporting him and child abuse is horrendous. But putting somebody on trial in the press is just as vile. I have read some of the accounts and it is quite clear that they would not stand up in court. Even the program that was on about Jimmy a few months back featured a man from the court process telling us that many of the accounts would not stand up. What is worse is arresting other stars as part of the same investigation. There is absolutely no link between Jim Davidson, Glitter , John Peel, Max Clifford etc etc to Jimmy Saville. The police arresting and questioning and low-and-behold releasing Glitter was designed to please the moronic masses. He won't get done, none of them will. Quite clearly Jimmy Saville was a child molester. But there is a context and due process that would have been put into effect had he been alive. He is not, he cannot defend himself, so the press can say what they want. I find Jimmy Saville and the whole trial by press as disgusting as each other.

    Rate   8
  • Jewbacca  |  January 11 2013, 8:16PM

    "£3,000 worth" Not now, thank gawd. Why is this bloke defending this disgusting animal now?

    Rate   7
  • FreeRadical1  |  January 11 2013, 4:49PM

    George wasn't a child when he met Jimmy, or he might have different memories of him. I disagree that Jimmy had a mental health problem; there is a huge difference between madness and evil.

    Rate   9
  • NibNobs  |  January 11 2013, 3:25PM

    I feel sorry for the mug that spent £160,000 at auction buying Jimmy Savile's Rolls Royce convertible, guess it's worth a lot, lot less than that now? In fact it must be almost worthless.

    Rate   8
  • IsitJimKerr  |  January 11 2013, 3:24PM

    GlosGrumpyGit....................so if he was alive, he'd admit it would he? Do be so naïve. Hundreds of credible victims have been interviewed. Yes, there will be a number of false claims, but many, in hospitals and children's homes were 'witnessed' by third parties not realising just how bad he was. Many TV clips show him leering at young teenagers. So many references to his vile behaviour, and he even managed to hoodwink investigative journalists; http://tinyurl.com/bxszjta I remember one person saying they were in Broadcasting House, and knocked on a door and went in. Savile was there, having sex with a teenager (who apparently looked terrified). The person apologised, and said he was looking for xyz room, and Savile looked up and said, 'Oh, it's down the corridor, on the right'. The West's denied their crimes, yet no-one doubted thir guilt, once all of the facts were known. Save your compassion for the girls that have had their lives blighted.

    Rate   15
  • GlosGrumpyGit  |  January 11 2013, 3:01PM

    It seems all too easy to call someone the UK's most prolific paedophile when they are not here anymore to defend themselves.

    Rate   -19
  • Sooty24  |  January 11 2013, 2:55PM

    I'm sure he was a good friend to this man - I guess he should be grateful he was a grown man when they met!!

    Rate   19