Jimmy Savile, the YouTube tribute

Showaddywaddy, jingle jangle, Jim'll Fix It, Top of the Pops, Clunk Click.

Showaddywaddy, jingle jangle, Jim'll Fix It, Top of the Pops, Clunk Click.{C}

The former DJ and TV presenter Jimmy Savile died at his home in Leeds earlier today, aged 84.

Savile was the first host of Top of the Pops in 1964 but for a certain generation of TV viewer he will be remembered for presenting Jim'll Fix It on a Saturday night.

In the era of three channel television the viewing figures were huge and the postbag, according to this tribute on the BBC website, hit 20,000 letters a week at the height of the programme's popularity.

In a terribly 2011 way, a quick browse on YouTube provides a telling potted history of a career.

Indeed put "Jimmy Savile" (or the more-frequently misspelled "Jimmy Saville") into the video sharing search engine and the auto-complete function does a rather good job of capturing a lifetime in the public eye:

showaddywaddy; jingle jangle; top of the pops; louis theroux; impression; now then now then; jim'll fix it; wrestling; have I got news for you; clunk click.

No mention of his marathon running but not a bad summary. If you're not sure of the references, look them up.

 

Rather than a Jim'll Fix It video, here's a Public Information Film from the same era that has taken on a similarly iconic status. Remember: "Clunk Click, Every Trip":

 

 

Jimmy Savile, 31 October 1926 -- 29 October 2011.

 

Jon Bernstein, former deputy editor of New Statesman, is a digital strategist and editor. He tweets @Jon_Bernstein. 

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Ignored by the media, the Liberal Democrats are experiencing a revival

The crushed Liberals are doing particularly well in areas that voted Conservative in 2015 - and Remain in 2016. 

The Liberal Democrats had another good night last night, making big gains in by-elections. They won Adeyfield West, a seat they have never held in Dacorum, with a massive swing. They were up by close to the 20 points in the Derby seat of Allestree, beating Labour into second place. And they won a seat in the Cotswolds, which borders the vacant seat of Witney.

It’s worth noting that they also went backwards in a safe Labour ward in Blackpool and a safe Conservative seat in Northamptonshire.  But the overall pattern is clear, and it’s not merely confined to last night: the Liberal Democrats are enjoying a mini-revival, particularly in the south-east.

Of course, it doesn’t appear to be making itself felt in the Liberal Democrats’ poll share. “After Corbyn's election,” my colleague George tweeted recently, “Some predicted Lib Dems would rise like Lazarus. But poll ratings still stuck at 8 per cent.” Prior to the local elections, I was pessimistic that the so-called Liberal Democrat fightback could make itself felt at a national contest, when the party would have to fight on multiple fronts.

But the local elections – the first time since 1968 when every part of the mainland United Kingdom has had a vote on outside of a general election – proved that completely wrong. They  picked up 30 seats across England, though they had something of a nightmare in Stockport, and were reduced to just one seat in the Welsh Assembly. Their woes continued in Scotland, however, where they slipped to fifth place. They were even back to the third place had those votes been replicated on a national scale.

Polling has always been somewhat unkind to the Liberal Democrats outside of election campaigns, as the party has a low profile, particularly now it has just eight MPs. What appears to be happening at local by-elections and my expectation may be repeated at a general election is that when voters are presented with the option of a Liberal Democrat at the ballot box they find the idea surprisingly appealing.

Added to that, the Liberal Democrats’ happiest hunting grounds are clearly affluent, Conservative-leaning areas that voted for Remain in the referendum. All of which makes their hopes of a good second place in Witney – and a good night in the 2017 county councils – look rather less farfetched than you might expect. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.