A new documentary about prolific sex offender Jimmy Savile is now streaming on Netflix, with archive footage taking us through his now-highly controversial career. Watch the trailer here:
Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story is a two-part film exploring how the popular British entertainer managed to ‘fool’ the nation for so many years – his crimes only investigated after his death.
Savile had forged himself a hugely successful career in TV and radio after starting out in the late 1950s, having been awarded an OBE in 1971 and a knighthood in 1990.
But behind the shell suits and cigars was a predator who targeted young and vulnerable people – many of whom came forward with their stories after he died in 2011.
Directed by Rowan Deacon, the new documentary uses ‘extensive archive footage’ to explore Savile’s twisted relationship with the public, and how his crimes were able to go undetected for so long.
A synopsis says: “Jimmy Savile rose to prominence in a career spanning decades in the entertainment industry in the UK. He had raised millions for charity, been knighted by the Queen and achieved national treasure status by the time he died on the 29th October 2011. His funeral was broadcast live on the BBC.
“Since his death, independent investigations and those made by Scotland Yard uncovered that Savile had been a prolific and predatory sex offender, abusing hundreds of people, some as young as five. To date, more than 450 allegations of sexual assault and abuse have been made against him.
“The two-part documentary examines, through extensive archive footage, Savile’s relationship with the British people, the establishment and the media to understand how he managed to fool an entire nation for so long.”
Savile’s offences only came under thorough investigation after he died, when hundreds of survivors courageously came forward.
Many other people also spoke out after ITV broadcast Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, a 2012 documentary that contained several allegations made by women claiming they were sexually abused by the celebrity as teenagers.
The same year, the Metropolitan Police also launched Operation Yewtree to examine the various allegations of sexual abuse - predominantly involving children - against Savile and others. A report was published the following year, and by October 2015 a total of 19 people were arrested by the operation, with seven leading to convictions.
In 2016, an independent investigation also found that the BBC missed opportunities to stop Savile's 'monstrous' abuse as there was a 'culture of fear'.
Watch Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story on Netflix now