Now then! Sir Jim hails talent shows

Sir Jimmy Saville
Sir Jimmy Saville

LEGENDARY Scarborough DJ Sir Jimmy Savile has railed against critics of television talent shows – and praised the format for handing him a first crack at stardom.

Sir Jim, 84, who has an apartment in the town, backed the growing hordes of followers for programmes including Britain’s Got Talent, saying it was important the “underdog” got their chance to shine.

The Jim’ll Fix It Star, who was made a freeman of Scarborough in 2005, was speaking as the BBC launched its latest live Saturday night knockout vehicle, So You Think You Can Dance, which features 29-year-old Scarborough tap dancer Matt Flint.

He said: “I don’t watch soaps because they are for regular viewers with regular lives and I don’t have a regular life.

“But I like Britain’s Got Talent, the first thing I ever won was a talent contest, when I was 10-years-old.

“It was in a dance hall and I was playing the drums. I weighed about two stone and I won – people always like the underdog.”

Sir Jim recently returned to the nation’s screens in a nostalgic musical trip down memory lane.

The veteran broadcaster features in a series of repeated episodes of BBC hit show Top of the Pops, charting acts back to 1976 when Sir Jim was host.

He left the show in 1984 but made guest appearances in 1988 and was on the final show before its axe in 2006.