Tuesday, 8.45am: Tributes have been paid to Sir Jimmy Savile, who raised thousands of pounds for Peterborough charities while he lived in Peterborough.
He died on Saturday (29 October) just two days short of his 85th birthday at his Leeds home on Saturday, and Peterborough residents have been sharing their memories of when the DJ and charity fundraiser lived in the city.
Jimmy used to work as a consultant for travel agent Thomas Cook and helped city charities raise thousands of pounds.
Nigel Hards, now the chairman of Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, worked with Jimmy in the early 1990s at Thomas Cook.
He said: “I worked with him quite closely for about four years.
“He was a very complex character. The person on the TV screen and on the radio was a very different person to the private Jimmy Savile.
“He did lots of things for lots of people that he would not talk about, as well as his publicised charity work.
“He was a great ambassador for Peterborough. He helped launch the Charity Six road race, and lots of top runners, including Steve Ovett and Steve Cram came along, just because he was involved.
“He was heavily involved in helping set up a children’s medical health charity in the city, by raising a quarter of a million pounds.
“He was also instrumental in bringing Princess Diana to the city as part of Thomas Cook’s 150th anniversary.
“He was also a very intelligent man and was a member of MENSA.
“I once asked him what he did at Stoke Mandeville Hospital as a volunteer.
“He said he liked working the night shift at the mortuary, because he thought it would be easier for loved ones if he was there when they came in.
“He also said it was the only place in the hospital where he could smoke his cigars, as the inmates didn’t complain.
“There will never be anyone like him again and he will be missed. It is a sad day.”
Reg Briggs (79), of Chaucer Road, Peterborough, worked in the security control room for Thomas Cook when he met Jimmy.
He said: “I met him a couple of times when he worked here.
“He was always happy to have his photo taken, and he would always have a chat.
“I remember he came in and asked where a cleaning lady was, as he had heard she wanted a picture with him. He was a nice man, a real character.
“I still have a couple of pictures of me with him, one at work and one at home.
“They always get a bit of attention.
“Hearing of his death brought back some of the memories. It is sad to hear the news.”
Do you have memories of Sir Jimmy Savile’s time in Peterborough?
Life and times of Jimmy Savile
JIMMY Savile was born in Leeds in 1926 and worked as a Bevin Boy in the coal mines during the Second World War.
He became a DJ in 1947 using his own turntables and even became a professional wrestler.
He first hit the British airwaves in 1958 on Radio Luxembourg, working on the station for nine years, before leaving to join the BBC on their new station, Radio One.
He had been working on television for the BBC for a number of years before joining Radio One, and was the first presenter of Top Of The Pops in 1964.
One of his most famous projects was TV show Jim’ll Fix It, from 1975 until 1994. On the show he helped viewers live out their dreams including helping scouts eat lunch on a rollercoaster.
He received a knighthood from the Queen and a Papal knighthood from the Pope in 1990.