When people are not who you think they are | Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris, Gary Glitter & R.Kelly

This is probably a bizarre post for me to write but I've been thinking a lot about people who are around my age (that makes me sound ancient lol) who grew up watching the same people on TV that I did and how some of those people that we admired in our childhoods have now been found out not to be who we thought they were.

Four people in particular come to my mind, Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris, Gary Glitter and R Kelly. People nowadays would probably say that it's obvious that these guys were dodgy but as a child, sometimes you don't pick up on these things.

Jimmy Savile (although he did give off creepy vibes) was seen as someone who could make kids dreams come true. His show 'Jim'll fix it' was about granting children's wishes (they would write a letter asking Jim to set it up for them to meet their favourite singer or actor and he would grant them their wish), I loved watching his show and when I heard the theme tune to his show, it always made me feel really positive and warm. Even up to his death (and I'm going to be honest) I thought of him as a legend and when he passed away I was upset. I remember at the time saying that it was the end of an era.

When Jimmy Savile died he was laid in state at the Queen's hotel in Leeds, more than 4,000 people had gone to pay tribute and sign a book of remembrance. I was going to go and pay my respects because I lived near to Leeds and worked there at the time. Leeds was brought to a complete standstill on the day of his funeral. He was Leeds born and bred and was well loved in the city.

When all of the stories came out about him I was in shock and at first people were divided. Some thought it was an attempt to get money and some believed everything they read. As countless stories were told and people came forward, I realised like a lot of people that he wasn't who I thought he was. Some people will argue and say there is no concrete evidence that he did those things but when I saw the picture of him stood next to Peter Sutcliffe (notorious serial killer), that and the horrible accounts people were giving, was enough for me. It was really difficult to get my head around.

Rolf Harris was another one that shocked me because I loved watching his cartoon club (kids show on TV) and admired him as an artist, he also worked with animals and seemed to be a nice guy from what we saw on TV plus people who met him always described him as really friendly. 

It turned out that Rolf had done something inappropriate with his daughter's friend (I don't know the full details) who was underage and wrote a letter to the girl's father which was later used as evidence in court. He'd also been accused of behaving inappropriately with other women/girls. It's horrible to think about.

At school we'd dance to Gary Glitter's songs at parties and thought he was a lot of fun when we were kids. He was seen as an old school legend when I was growing up. It turned out that he was being inappropriate with underage children and some awful pictures were found on his computer. I think he's still in jail at the moment. A legendary career down the toilet because of what he did which should be the case, people who hurt others should not be allowed to reap the benefits or be able to carry on with their careers in my opinion. I just think it's crazy that people who've had careers for decades and then.....gone! 

R.Kelly. This didn't come as much as a shock as the others. We all knew that R.Kelly had a high sex drive and was a bit of a ladies man but it turned out worse than what people thought. We've seen the stories and the ladies coming forward and some people would say that it is a ploy to get money but there is actual videotapes of women and an underage girl with R.Kelly. There's also the whole Aaliyah marriage drama.

R.Kelly wrote so many iconic songs and is a talented artist who came through hard times. He can't read or write but worked his way up to be a superstar and look what he did, he threw it all away doing these awful things and treating women like they were just there to serve him.

Over the past few years some people have been exposed, the masks have come off and we've seen that they are not who we thought they were. At one point, there was so many people from my childhood being exposed for doing certain things that I wondered what was going on and how could I not have seen it back then.

I look at old clips of Jimmy Savile on youtube and it's cringeworthy. He still has supporters who think the whole thing is a conspiracy. 

What are your thoughts on this? I know some people don't feel comfortable talking about such things but I think it's important to discuss it. Some people say that rumours went around about R.Kelly and Jimmy Savile for years but nothing was done because they were famous, powerful men. 

Victims were scared to come forward, scared that they wouldn't be believed. That's one of the things that has to change, we need to let people know that they will be supported. 

I've included some interesting documentaries below about these individuals for those of you who don't know much about them:

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  1. I remember when I was a teenager in the 1970s my friends & I thought there was something creepy about Gary Glitter, but couldn't exactly say what it was. Things such as paedophilia were not discussed with teenagers by parents or teachers, so I can understand how easy it was for him to prey on young girls. My grandmother hated Jimmy Saville and was not convinced by his charity fund raising and helping kids. She said that something was not right with an unmarried man who was not gay (which was very odd in those days when most people got married in their 20s). My nana died in the 1980s but her view was vindicated when the truth about him came out.
    It would be harder for them to get away with it nowadays, as young people today are much more aware of what is inappropriate behaviour by an adult.

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    2. The positive thing about this being talked about now is like you said, young people are becoming more aware esp young women. There was a time when we felt that we had no choice but to put up with it (the creepy behaviour) or brush it under the carpet. I saw a lot of men acting rude to and around women and people would brush it off as 'a bit of banter or a laugh'. Your grandmother sounds like my grandmother, she was a really good judge of character and could see through things very quickly. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and comment x (I removed my original comment cause it wouldn't let me edit a spelling mistake lol)

  2. Well done for discussing this important post babe, it's a tough subject which is never easy to talk about and one you've covered so well. I wasn't really a fan of any of these people/I never knew much about them apart from liking R Kelly's songs when I was younger, but I can imagine it's a shock growing up admiring someone only for horrible truths to come out about them later on, especially when they're people you've looked up to and enjoyed watching. My boyfriend felt the same as you did about Rolf Harris, he used to love watching him on Animal Hospital and was upset when the stories emerged. I totally agree, heart goes out to all the victims and as you say people need to know they'll be supported. Brilliant post ♥︎

    Sophie | soinspo xo

    1. Thank you lovely. Interesting that your other half grew up watching Rolf Harris too, I bet you're wondering what we saw in these people as kids. A lot of people now who didn't know them often ask why we couldn't see through these people or why we even liked them at all. I don't know how to answer these questions. Jimmy Savile was always seen as an eccentric uncle, same with Rolf & Gary Glitter. R.Kelly was seen as someone who was cool and a bit of a ladies man but nothing like we were to later find out (at least to my knowledge) x