Jimmy Savile, Gary Glitter and Mini Me

Hear the audio version of this blog post here


I wanted to find an old document on my computer, but I had no recollection as to what the file was actually called. So I ended up having to trawl through all the files on the drive alphabetically until I eventually located it. It transpired that the file in question began with the letter r, meaning that I had to wade through a lot of files before I came to the one I was looking for.

There were loads of unfinished projects, articles and blogs. I opened quite a few of them out of curiosity.

I read a semi-completed blog post which caused me to smile and feel rather sanctimonious. The blog post relates to Sir Jimmy Savile, and was written just after the airing of the ITV documentary, Exposure: the Other Side of Jimmy Savile.

The blog post was about the time just after University when I did some work for a hospital radio station in Middlesbrough called Southside. I wrote about how I was reprimanded by the management of Southside for a joke I made about Gary Glitter. This joke (which they really created a stink about and essentially led to me deciding to leave the station) in retrospect seems very mild when you consider the fact that Southside – at the same time as rebuking me for my Gary Glitter quip – were proudly declaring on their website that Sir Jimmy Savile was a great friend of the station and a regular contributor.

My little jocular comment, incidentally, came after playing the Gary Glitter song I’m the Leader of the Gang (I Am). I merely made the observation that Gary Glitter was pretty rubbish when it came to covering up his pedophilic tendencies, given that he’d released songs with titles that more or less admitted it outright. A casing point being the unfortunately titled What Your Mama Don’t See (Your Mama Don’t Know).

My comment really annoyed the radio station’s management. I was ordered to edit my joke out of the podcast which I duly did. However, they had no qualms about me leaving in their big kiss-ass chat with Jimmy Savile, which was carried out by the very manager who’d forced me to edit out the Gary Glitter quip. So I was reprimanded by the station management for making a mild joke about Gary Glitter because it was apparently inappropriate, while they were hobnobbing with someone who transpired (perhaps not that unexpectedly) to be a major pedophile.

One of the other files I came across on my alphabetical computer trawl was a childhood diary. I was particularly taken and amused by the entry from my nine-year-old self on Friday February 10 1995.

Me and my best friend Paul decided to do a comedy show. We had been practising it for a long time. We decided to do it on a Friday. We told everyone where to meet us, what time and what day. When it was time, we went outside, and no one wanted to listen to it.

I am writing this blog post on the way back from Summer Set where I performed in front of about 1500 people. Sometimes it is easy to become complacent and forget all your achievements and successes. Sometimes I feel as if I’m not as successful or as popular as I thought I would be when I was younger. But in reality, I know that if I could go back in time and tell my dejected nine-year-old self, stood all alone in that school playground, that in twenty years time he’d be performing to audiences of 1500 and greater, and playing at Glastonbury festival, then the nine-year-old me would be astounded and really proud.

To be honest, I think it was for the best that no one turned up for our comedy show, given some of the jokes that I’d seemingly (according to the diary entry) prepared for the event.

There was a parody of the dance hit song from that time, the Rednex, Cotton Eye Joe, which went: “Where did you come from? Pull down your pants. Where did you come from? Do a country dance. Where did you come from? Pick your Bum. Where did you come from? Pull off your thumb.”

I just hope we didn’t incorporate actions into this particular routine.

There was also this joke:

“I was in the bath, but I had to get out to make a phone call. And when I got out I picked up the phone and I was ringing wet.”

Those were seemingly the only jokes I’d deemed good enough to include in my diary, unless there were actually only two jokes in the show. Either way, I think I was let off the hook by no one turning up to the show.

Before I go, I’ll give you one final extract from a diary entry on Thursday 19 January 1995.

“At school we did English, which I be very very good at.”

I’d like to think that this was a deliberate joke. It really should have made the setlist for the comedy show, as it was much better than the jokes that did make it. Unfortunately though, I doubt it was an intentional joke, but simply an inadvertent grammatical error, proving that I wasn’t really that good at English. Still, on a positive note, I know that if I could go back in time to my nine-year-old self and tell him that one day I’d write an amazingly hilarious, insightful and groundbreaking blog, I’d be very happy and proud. And you never know, that day might even come.

New Young’uns Podcast coming at the end of the week.

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