Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile was an English DJ, television and radio personality who hosted BBC shows including Top of the Pops and Jim'll Fix It. He raised an estimated £40 million for charities and, during his lifetime, was widely praised for his personal qualities and as a fund-raiser. After his death, hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse were made against him, leading the police to conclude that Savile had been a predatory sex offender—possibly one of Britain's most prolific. There had been allegations during his lifetime, but they were dismissed and accusers ignored or disbelieved; Savile took legal action against some accusers.
Savile worked in coal mines as a teenager, reportedly sustaining spinal injuries at the age of 14, and was a Bevin Boy during the Second World War. He began a career playing records in, and later managing, dance halls, and was said to have been the first disc jockey to use twin turntables to keep music in constant play. His media career started as a disc jockey at Radio Luxembourg in 1958 and on Tyne Tees Television in 1960, and he developed a reputation for eccentricity and flamboyance. At the BBC, he presented the first edition of Top of the Pops in 1964 and broadcast on Radio 1 from 1968. From 1975 until 1994, he presented Jim'll Fix It, an early Saturday evening television programme in which he arranged for the wishes of viewers, mainly children, to come true. During his lifetime, he was known for fund-raising and supporting charities and hospitals, in particular Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire. In 2009, he was described by The Guardian as a "prodigious philanthropist" and was honoured for his charity work. He was awarded the OBE in 1971 and was knighted in 1990. In 2006 he introduced the last edition of Top of the Pops.
In October 2012, almost a year after his death, an ITV documentary examined claims of sexual abuse by Savile and led to extensive media coverage and a substantial and rapidly growing body of witness statements and sexual abuse claims, including accusations against public bodies for covering up or failure of duty. Scotland Yard launched a criminal investigation into allegations of child sex abuse by Savile spanning six decades, describing him as a "predatory sex offender", and later stated that they were pursuing more than 400 lines of inquiry based on the testimony of 300 potential victims via 14 police forces across the UK. By late October 2012, the scandal had resulted in inquiries or reviews at the BBC, within the National Health Service, the Crown Prosecution Service, and the Department of Health. In June 2014, investigations into Savile's activities in 28 NHS hospitals, including Leeds General Infirmary and Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, concluded that he had sexually assaulted staff and patients aged between five and 75 over several decades.In January 2013, a joint report by the NSPCC and Metropolitan Police, Giving Victims a Voice, stated that 450 people had made complaints against Savile, with the period of alleged abuse stretching from 1955 to 2009 and the ages of the complainants at the time of the assaults ranging from 8 to 47. The suspected victims included 28 children aged under 10, including 10 boys aged as young as 8. A further 63 were girls aged between 13 and 16 and nearly three-quarters of his alleged victims were under 18. Some 214 criminal offences were recorded, with 34 rapes having been reported across 28 police forces.