Jimmy Savile Line Of Duty

Jimmy Savile appears in Line of Duty, sparking viewer reactions

Gail Vella was investigating his police friends

Line Of Duty fans got a shock in tonight’s episode (Sunday March 28) when Jimmy Savile appeared onscreen.

The former BBC DJ and TV presenter was accused of hundreds of cases of sexual abuse after his death.

But is this the first time Line Of Duty viewers have seen Savile in the show before?

Jimmy Savile Line Of Duty
Savile was in Gail’s report (Credit: BBC)

Why was Jimmy Savile in Line Of Duty?

In episode two, Steve Arnott, Ted Hastings and Chloe Bishop viewed footage featuring murdered journalist Gail Vella.

They saw her report on the case of Chief Superintendant Patrick Fairbank, who was part of a paedophile ring.

A photograph of Savile, fellow abuser and councillor Dale Roach and Fairbank appeared in her report.

Vella said: “What that jury didn’t hear… is that allegations that Patrick Fairbank suppressed police investigation into child exploitation…

Read more: Line of Duty on BBC One: Who plays murder victim Gail Vella? Comedian Andi Osho!

“It’s now a matter of public record that Jimmy Savile cultivated relationships with senior police officers.

“Savile exploited those relationships to intimidate anyone attempting to investigate his offending.

“We now realise what Savile was getting out of those relationships with senior police officers.

“What remains unknown is what those officers were getting out of their relationships with Savile.”

Has Jimmy Savile been in Line Of Duty before?

The photograph of Savile, Roach and Fairbank was first shown in series three.

Roach and Fairbank abused boys at the Sands View Boys Home.

Including a real-life character into a storyline – and especially someone as vilified as Savile – drew criticism.

Subsequently, the BBC issued a statement.

“Line of Duty is an established fictional drama series set in a recognisable and authentic world.

“One brief picture highlighted the real-life context of the fictional story…

“…that a fictional police officer suppressed claims of child sexual exploitation by a fictional local politician.

“When viewers have had the opportunity to view the episode for themselves, they will see the BBC has acted responsibly and sensitively towards the victims and survivors of Savile.

“[The] NAPAC were consulted and aware of his inclusion and the episode will be preceded by a warning and followed by an action line.”

Jimmy Savile Line Of Duty
Savile was a familiar face in the 1970s and 80s (Credit: YouTube)

What was Savile famous for?

Jimmy Savile was a star on both radio and TV throughout the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

Aside from being a Radio One DJ, he also presented Saturday-night ids show Jim’ll Fix It on BBC One.

Furthermore, and thanks to his outrageous appearance, Savile was also one of the most recognisable faces in the UK.

He was also a frequent marathon runner and raiser of money for a number of children’s hospitals.

It was thanks to this charity fundraising that Savile received knighthood in 1990.

However, rumours of sexual abuse always surrounded him.

Because of this, he often took legal action against those who accused him.

Jimmy Savile died aged 84, in 2011.

Jimmy Savile Line Of Duty
Savile on Jim’ll Fix It (Credit: YouTube)

What happened after Savile died?

After his death, Newsnight launched an investigation into the allegations of abuse.

However, its investigation never aired.

It took another documentary on ITV in 2012 to expose his double-life.

Read more: Netflix: Jimmy Savile documentary in the works for 2021

From that documentary, testimony from 200 witnesses across the country was gathered.

The number soon rose to 450 alleged victims with complainants ranging from ages eight to 47.

Broadmoor: Savile was 'a lunatic in charge of the asylum'

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor

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