Search

Sir Jimmy Savile’s tenure as Ilford dance hall manager remembered

08:47 02 November 2011

Sir Jimmy Savile pictured after he received a commemorative badge from prime minister Gordon Brown at Downing Street in 2008

Sir Jimmy Savile pictured after he received a commemorative badge from prime minister Gordon Brown at Downing Street in 2008

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Legendary DJ and television presenter Sir Jimmy Savile, who died aged 84 on Saturday, once entertained revellers at a famous Ilford dance hall.

Sir Jimmy had a stint as manager of Ilford Palais in High Road in 1959 and ran records-only dance sessions on Monday nights which were said to be popular with teenagers.

Sir Jimmy, who went on to present the first episode Top of the Pops, was interviewed by the Recorder about his time spent in the borough in 1966 and a photograph accompanying the article showed him wearing a two tone coat.

It was taken by retired freelance photographer Clive Simpson, formerly of Kenwood Gardens, Gants Hill, who met the star at his BBC studio.

Recalling how the shot was set up Mr Simpson said: “At the time Jimmy had a two tone head with one side black and the other side white.

“There was a guy in Barking who started manufacturing leather coats and he made a couple with two tones which were exactly the same colour as his hair.

“He contacted Jimmy and said he would give him a coat for free in return for some publicity pictures which he agreed to.”

Mr Simpson added: “Jimmy was a really nice guy and we sat and chatted after the pictures.

“It wasn’t a case of two minutes get in and get out.

“He was a shrewd character and did a brilliant job raising money charity but also had an eye for the business side of things.”

In the article Sir Jimmy was quoted saying: “Some of the happiest days of my life were spent in Ilford.”

And he also raised a smile by giving some amusing response to questions.

When asked how he got to Ilford he answered: “I came out of my front door and turned left and it was about 186 miles from there because I lived in Leeds.”

When asked how long he was at the Palais for he replied: “About five feet ten inches.”

His funeral will be held on Wednesday at St Anne’s Catholic Cathedral in Leeds with thousands expected to pay their last respects.

0 comments

Latest Ilford News Stories

35 minutes ago
Wizard Stories founders Phil Keating and Gary Potter. Picture: Wizard Stories

An exciting interactive storytelling company will be enthralling young bookworms at the borough’s first children’s literary festival.

Ben Collins and Wilma Sagoe in the high road

If you have wandered through Ilford town centre recently you may have noticed flowers sprouting up amidst wicker sculptures.

Yesterday, 17:31
Ma'm Mandy Beacher is the new borough comander for Redbridge

Cyber bullying, particularly amongst young people, is to be a top priority for Redbridge Police going forward.

Yesterday, 14:10
Terry McBride, inset, tried to rape a woman by the lake in Valentines Park, Ilford, on Valentine's Day. Picture: Met Police; Steve Plastow/Citizenside.com

A man who attempted to rape a woman on Valentine’s Day in an Ilford park in broad daylight has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

VW Golf Estate

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now