Louis Theroux Explains Why He Dismissed Jimmy Savile Paedophilia Rumours

by : Cameron Frew on : 11 Sep 2021 13:23
Louis Theroux Explains Why He Dismissed Jimmy Savile Paedophilia RumoursPA Images/BBC

Louis Theroux has opened up further about Jimmy Savile and why he initially dismissed rumours of him being a serial paedophile. 

The documentary-maker met Savile back in 2000 as part of his When Louis Met… series. During their time together, he asked about the rumours, which the late, disgraced Top of the Pops presenter denied.


His heinous crimes against countless victims first fully emerged in 2011, following his death. Theroux revisited his earlier film in 2016 and has continually discussed his dynamic with Savile, even telling UNILAD it was his biggest ‘what the f*ck’ moment.

Louis Theroux and Jimmy Savile. (BBC)BBC

In a new interview with The Independent, Theroux explained how the notion of Savile being a paedophile was once similar to other myths about celebrities; for example, like that singer having one of his ribs removed.

‘Growing up in the 1980s. the idea that Jimmy Savile might be a paedophile or a necrophile, it occupied the same drawer as the idea that a pop star had his stomach pumped and they found 10 pints of semen, or that a Hollywood actor had a rodent removed from his rectum. Both of them are rumours that are not true,’ he said.

Louis Theroux and Jimmy Savile. (BBC)BBC

‘That Jimmy Savile goes around fiddling with kids – I thought that was in the same category. The only thing that felt odd later on was the idea that everyone in the playgrounds in the 1980s heard that rumour, so I can only imagine everyone involved in the media would have heard a rumour that there was something dodgy about Jimmy Savile.’

Theroux went on to speak about how we’ve ‘suffered this elision of different magnitudes of information, and how exposed you were, how much you knew. You only have to read the Janet Smith enquiry to realise that complaints were made and disregarded’, which found Savile had abused and/or raped people at ‘virtually every one of the BBC premises at which he worked’.

‘Hopefully, that’s a lesson we learn, that you have to safeguard vulnerable people, and at every stage you have to make sure that people in positions of authority are being monitored,’ he added.


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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: Film and TV, Louis Theroux, no-article-matching


The Independent
  1. The Independent

    Louis Theroux: ‘Straight white men like me have been monopolising the conversation’