A former media personality from Riddings has told how he was ignored by BBC bosses after trying to warn them about disgraced star Jimmy Savile over 40 years ago.
David Hardwick was becoming a regular guest on a radio show of Savile’s in the early 1970s, and had told the BBC that he witnessed young teenage girls leaving his motor home in an isolated area of a service station.
Admitting he was suspicious, he passed on the information just hours after the incident, but was told by a BBC producer and friend, Roy Trevivian, that bosses had warned him to not mention it again or they could lose their jobs.
David, 67, was never asked back to work on the BBC again.
After being contacted, David was initially reluctant to speak about his brush with Savile, but eventually agreed, saying: “I did my bit and reported my suspicions, but I was never asked back again. I didn’t think I could go to the police, it was Jimmy Savile.
“When it all came out a few months ago I just sat back in my chair and thought ‘told you so’.
“I was always suspicious of him [after that incident]. I could see those characteristics when he was around kids on shows like Jim’ll Fix It.”
David had been asked onto the Speakeasy show in the early 1970s, a Sunday afternoon programme for teenagers on Radio 1.
A decade before, he had made national headlines by launching the Young People’s Union, and found himself becoming a spokesman for the modern youth even into his 20s.
And it was after one Sunday show that Savile had offered David a lift back to Mansfield in his motor home. Savile had been on his way to Leeds, where he lived.
David recalls: “I was not going to say no to a lift, it would have saved queuing at St Pancras, and if the truth be told I would have been happy to have been seen with Jimmy Savile at that time, he was top of the tree at the time, personality-wise.”
He remembers the vehicle being ‘very scruffy inside and out’ and said that Savile had asked if it was okay for them to stop for an hour at Leicester Forest East on the M1 because he was tired and needed a sleep for an hour.
However, rather than parking close to the services, he said Savile picked a remote space in the trucking area, well away from the service station.
David said he went for a meal in the services, and when he returned around an hour later, knocked on the motor home window, at which time the door swung open and two girls stepped out.
He said they looked dishevelled and surprised to see David standing there.
“Wherever they had come from, I just don’t know. They were only maybe 13, 14 or 15,” he said.
“We were right in the far corner of the truck stop, I can only think it was pre-arranged, but that’s only my opinion. It just seemed so strange.
“Jimmy was surprised to see me, he was always flamboyant, but not particularly defensive about it. I asked him who they were and he just replied ‘that’s what happens to me everywhere I go, I have fans after me’.
“It just didn’t add up, what would they have been doing there that far from the service station.”
Author David, who has several books to his name already, is putting together his autobiography looking at his teenage rise to fame to his fall from grace, which includes stints in prison. He says it could take another year to finish, but says it is unlikely that the story about Savile would be included.