Veteran TV presenter Sir Jimmy Savile has died at his home in Leeds just two days before his 85th birthday.
According to Sky News police were called to the presenter’s flat in the suburb of Roundhay at 1210 on Saturday afternoon where they discovered his body.
His death is not being treated as suspicious.
Sir Jimmy was best known for the TV show Jim’ll Fix It , as well as a long career in broadcasting as a Radio 1 DJ.
He was also renowned for his prowess as a runner and fundraiser taking part in countless marathons and raising around £40m for various charities.
Fellow Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis was among the first to pay tribute to Sir Jimmy following the news of his death.
“For some reason with Jim, you couldn’t anticipate that he wasn’t going to be around anymore,” he said, “he was such a powerful presence.
“He was one of the first DJs that actually became a personality.”
Born in Leeds in 1926, the youngest of seven children, Sir Jimmy began work aged 14 in the coal mines but ended his career there seven years later after he suffered a spinal injury in an explosion.
He later claimed to be the first ever DJ after he began playing records in local dance halls, using twin turntables and a microphone.
Sir Jimmy began his professional career with Radio Luxembourg, before going on to join Radio 1 in 1968 – and presented the first ever Top Of The Pops from a TV studio in Manchester in 1964, going on to become one of the show’s regular hosts for the next two decades.
He was also invited back to present the final ever edition of the show in 2006.
His other most famous TV show, Jim’ll Fix It, began in 1974 and ran until 1995, and saw Sir Jimmy making viewers’ wishes come true and rewarding them with the coveted Jim’ll Fix It badge.
At the height of its popularity, the show received over 20,000 letters a week, with some of the most famous fix-its including the cub scout troop who were given the chance to eat lunch on a rollercoaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, the moment when a girl was allowed to drop a priceless vase on Antiques Roadshow, and the appearance of a then 11-year-old Nigel Kennedy, showing off his violin prowess on TV years before he became famous.
The show was briefly revived in 2007 on UKTV Gold, with Sir Jimmy returning to his famous chair to make more dreams come true and relive some of the most famous ‘fix-its’.
His later TV appearances also included turning up on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006 to make the housemates’ wishes come true.
Away from his TV and radio work, Sir Jimmy – who was knighted in 1990 – was a tireless fundraiser and sportsman, who competed as a professional cyclist and wrestler, as well as running more than 200 marathons for charity.
He raised huge sums of money – with his accountant claiming to have lost count past the £40m mark – much of which went to causes helping people with spinal injuries.
Sir Jimmy was also known for his eccentric personality and dress sense – often dying his blond hair various different colours and dressing in tracksuits and gold jewellery years before it became fashionable to do so.
His appearance and catchphrases – which included ‘now then now then’, ‘guys and gals’ and ‘how’s about that then’ became legendary, and were often spoofed by TV comedians and impressionsists such as 70s comic Mike Yarwood.
A self-professed loner, he never married and continued to live with his mother Agnes – with whom he had a close relationship – until her death in 1973.
Afterwards he kept the flat they had lived in in Scarborough as a shrine to his mother – and continued to have her clothes dry-cleaned annually. The property, complete with her old bedroom perfectly preserved, was featured on an episode of Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends in 2007.