One of the men competing to be Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner says he has never forgotten the look on a young girl’s face when he saw Jimmy Savile pinch her bottom.
Alan Hardwick says he saw the DJ and TV presenter touch a young girl at Yorkshire Television studios, where he worked as a Calendar news presenter, in the 1980s.
Savile was waiting with a group of children ready to film a programme when Mr Hardwick went over to speak to him.
The presenter, an independent candidate for the post of public head of the county’s police force, knew Savile from various stories.
He says he was about to say hello but, seeing that filming was about to start, he decided to leave.
He told The Boston Standard, the Leader’s sister paper: “Just before I turned around to leave the studio Savile reached down and squeezed the bottom of the girl who was standing at the side of him on the right hand side.
“That halted me in my tracks. I didn’t quite believe what I was seeing.
“The girl turned to Savile, I can still see her now, the look on her face, I struggle to find the words to describe it, was stunned disbelief.
“He just looked down and gave her a broad smile.”
Mr Hardwick says he reported the matter to a colleague who responded by saying ‘well, you know Savile, maybe it’s a relative’.
He accepted that may have been true and says he did not know who the girl was.
Mr Hardwick said: “I always thought it was strange to be honest. Every time I saw him after that, either on the telly or in the flesh, I always remembered that incident.”
He added: “To be honest the look on that girl’s face has never left me.”
He says that before this incident he only knew Savile as a prolific fundraiser and although he later heard the Jim’ll Fix It star had a ‘penchant’ for younger women, he thought that referred to young adults, not girls as young as 12 to 14.
He added: “It was put to me ‘Savile likes them young’. I never knew it meant as young as we now know and I don’t think I even knew the word paedophile back then. I thought it meant young women.”
His experiences mean he has taken a keen interest in the furore surrounding the Savile revelations - and watched the ITV documentary and Panorama shows.
Mr Hardwick said: “Shocked is an understatement. Despite what I saw and what I heard it was always ‘nudge, nudge, wink wink’.
“The whole thing has been an enormous shock to be honest. I think Paul Gambaccini put it best to say this is completely off the scale.
“It does beggar belief.”
The scandal had largely centred around the BBC, but attentions may now turn to the commercial broadcaster as more and more victims come forward.
An ITV spokesman has urged Mr Hardwick to pass on his account of the events.
The spokesman was quoted as saying: “We take any allegations of criminal activity within ITV / YTV, or to the knowledge of ITV / YTV, very seriously and would immediately contact the police in such cases, and follow up with our own inquiries.”
Other candidates in the November 15 Police and Crime Commissioner election are: David Bowles (Campaign to stop politicians running policing), Richard Davies (Conservative) and Paul Gleeson (Labour).