Jim'll Fix It

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Jim'll Fix It
Jim'll Fix It Titles.jpg
1986 series titles
Format Entertainment
Created by Roger Ordish
Jimmy Savile
Starring Jimmy Savile (1975–1994; 1995; 2007)
Shane Richie (2011)
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 20
1 (revival)
No. of episodes 286
Production
Running time 35 min.
Broadcast
Original channel BBC One
UKTV Gold (2007 revival)

Jim'll Fix It was a long-running British television show, broadcast by the BBC between May 1975 and June 1994. It was devised and presented by Jimmy Savile and produced by Roger Ordish and encouraged children to write in to have their wishes granted.[1]

The show was hosted by Savile, who would "fix it" for the wishes of several viewers (usually children) to come true each week. The producer throughout the show's run was Roger Ordish, always referred to by Savile as "Doctor Magic". The standard format was that the viewer's letter, which described their wish, would be shown on the screen and read out aloud, initially by Savile, but in later series by the viewer himself as a voice-over. Savile would then introduce the Fix, which would either have been pre-filmed on location or take place "live" in the studio. At the end, the viewer would join Savile to be congratulated and presented with a large medal with the words "Jim Fixed It For Me" engraved on it. Occasionally, other people featured in the "Fix It" (actors from well known series, for example), might also give the viewer an extra gift somehow relating to the Fix. Savile himself played no part in the filming or recording of the "fix-its", unless specifically requested as part of the letter writer's wish. Some children apparently thought that Savile's first name was "Jim'll", so some letters shown on the programme started "Dear Jim'll".

Early series saw Savile distributing medals from a "magic chair" which concealed the medals in a variety of compartments. The "magic chair" was invented by Tony Novissimo and was built for the BBC by him at his workshops in Shepherds Bush. The chair had first appeared on Savile's earlier Saturday night TV series, Clunk, Click. The chair was later replaced by a new computer-controlled robotic "magic chair", the brainchild of Kevin Warwick, built for the BBC by his team at the University of Reading. The arm for the chair was an RTX, designed by Roy Levell at Universal Machine Intelligence in Wandsworth around 1985.[2]

Internally, the BBC were concerned that the show was providing excessive product placement for corporations. Eighteen years after the show ceased airing allegations of child sex abuse were made against Savile, who by then had died, including claims that special episodes of Jim'll Fix It were devised by Savile in order to gain access to victims.[3]

Well known "Fix-its"

A group of Cub Scouts from the 2nd Sutton St Mary’s troop, who wrote to the programme asking to have a meal in an unusual place. The show opted to send them, complete with packed lunch, to ride the Revolution rollercoaster at Pleasure Beach Blackpool — the result, thanks to the force of gravity and momentum, being lots of little faces full of food and drink. This was repeated with the same former Cubs in 2007 for Jim'll Fix It Strikes Again, with similar results.

A young Doctor Who fan, Gareth Jenkins, was able to take part in a short adventure titled A Fix with Sontarans with Colin Baker and Janet Fielding. The fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, also appeared in one episode, where he tore off and handed away the frayed ends of his scarf to girls visiting the studio.

Veteran actor Peter Cushing wrote to the show in 1986 to ask if a variety of rose could be named after his late wife; the 'Helen Cushing Rose' was the result.

In the 1980s a young girl wrote to ask if she could "accidentally" drop and smash a seemingly valuable vase on an edition of Antiques Roadshow. This was broadcast as part of a regular edition of Antiques Roadshow (as well as in the Jim'll Fix It episode), with many of the crowd at the Roadshow looking on, horrified, until the antiques expert explained the ruse.

In the 1980s a young boy called Dom Lawson, who now works for Kerrang! and Metal Hammer magazines, got his wish to be Iron Maiden's tech for the day. This came true and he also met the band. This was found out in Iron Maiden's A Matter of Life and Death tour book, where Dom Lawson speaks about Iron Maiden and his history on the band.[4][5]

In 1976 Muhammed Ali was on a world tour to promote his book, The Greatest. Landing in London, catching the BBC by surprise, and with no time to bring the thousands of hopeful letter writers to a meeting with the legend, the TV company nipped next door "borrowing" three schoolboy boxers from the school (Christopher Wren). Vince, Andly and Nigel were whisked off to meet Ali.

When Savile was knighted, the accompanying book for the 1991 series of A Bit of Fry & Laurie carried a statement that in future Jim'll Fix It would be known as: Sir James will bring his influence to bear in arranging matters to your satisfaction.[6]

2007 revival (Jim'll Fix It Strikes Again)

This new series saw the return of Savile and began on 5 April 2007 on UKTV Gold, and was titled Jim'll Fix It Strikes Again. The series set out to show classic moments from the original shows, 're-fix' it for some of the original participants, and make dreams come true for a number of new people.

2011 special

The BBC announced on 14 November 2011, that following Savile's recent death, the show returned for a one-off Christmas special on 26 December 2011, featuring Shane Richie as the programme's host. Only letters for 'fix-its' from children under 14 were eligible for the revived format.[7] Lewis Hamilton guest-starred in this episode, as well as Girls Aloud member Kimberley Walsh.

Sexual abuse scandal

Claims surfaced in 2012 that some of the children who took part in Jim'll Fix It were sexually abused by Savile.[8][9] Ordish said: "I didn't see anything and nothing was reported to me", but added that he knew Savile had a "predilection for younger females".[10]

Transmission guide

Series No. of editions Aired
1 12 31 May 1975 – 16 August 1975
2 7 21 February 1976 – 10 April 1976
3 8 1 January 1977 – 19 February 1977
4 11 7 January 1978 – 18 March 1978
5 12 30 December 1978 – 17 March 1979
6 12 29 December 1979 – 15 March 1980
7 13 26 December 1980 – 28 March 1981
8 13 2 January 1982 – 27 March 1982
9 14 25 December 1982 – 26 March 1983
10 14 25 December 1983 – 24 March 1984
11 13 29 December 1984 – 23 March 1985
12 13 11 January 1986 – 5 April 1986
13 13 3 January 1987 – 28 March 1987
14 13 2 January 1988 – 26 March 1988
15 13 7 January 1989 – 1 April 1989
16 13 6 January 1990 – 31 March 1990
17 13 19 January 1991 – 13 April 1991
18 13 4 April 1992 – 4 July 1992
19 13 10 April 1993 – 17 July 1993
20 13 2 April 1994 – 24 July 1994
Series
No. of editions
Aired
Jim'll Fix It Strikes Again 6 5 April 2007 – 10 May 2007

Specials

Title Date
Christmas Special 24 December 1975
Bank Holiday Special 22 May 1976
Bank Holiday Special 28 August 1976
Christmas Special 24 December 1976
Bank Holiday Special 4 June 1977
Bank Holiday Special 29 August 1977
Christmas Special 26 December 1977
New Year Special 31 December 1977
Bank Holiday Special 27 May 1978
Bank Holiday Special 28 August 1978
Christmas Special 26 December 1978
Bank Holiday Special 28 May 1979
Bank Holiday Special 27 August 1979
Christmas Special 26 December 1979
Bank Holiday Special 26 May 1980
Bank Holiday Special 25 August 1980
Bank Holiday Special 25 May 1981
Bank Holiday Special 31 August 1981
Christmas Special 25 December 1981
Bank Holiday Special 31 May 1982
Bank Holiday Special 30 August 1982
Bank Holiday Special 30 May 1983
Bank Holiday Special 29 August 1983
Christmas Special 24 December 1984
10th Birthday Special 27 May 1985
Bank Holiday Special 26 August 1985
Christmas Special 24 December 1985
Bank Holiday Special 25 August 1986
Christmas Special 24 December 1986
Bank Holiday Special 25 May 1987
Bank Holiday Special 30 August 1987
Christmas Special 24 December 1987
Bank Holiday Special 28 May 1988
Christmas Special 26 December 1988
Christmas Special 26 December 1989
Sir Jim'll Fix It Special 8 July 1990
Christmas Special 26 December 1990
Christmas Special 28 December 1991
Christmas Special 28 December 1992
Christmas Special 27 December 1993
20 Years of Jim'll Fix It Special 2 January 1995
Jim Fixed It For Me 31 December 2000
Jim'll Fix It with Shane Richie 26 December 2011

Compilations

  • Series 2 Compilation: 17 April 1976
  • Series 3 Compilation: 26 February 1977
  • Series 4 Compilation: 25 March 1978
  • Series 5 Compilation: 24 March 1979
  • Series 6 Compilation: 22 March 1980
  • Children in Need Compilation: 23 November 1984
  • Series 13 Compilation: 27 August 1988
  • Series 14 Compilation: 28 August 1989
  • Series 15 Compilation: 25 August 1990
  • Series 16 Compilation: 24 August 1991
  • Series 17 Compilation: 29 August 1992
  • Series 18 Compilation: 5 September 1993

Theme song

The theme song was sung by voice-over artist Lynda Hayes.[11] The closing theme was sung by the group Good Looks (featuring Lavinia & Lewis Rodgers, siblings of Clodagh Rodgers) who competed in the 1982 A Song for Europe competition. Savile "fixed it" for a young viewer to perform the song with the group on an edition of the show.

References

  1. ^ Gould, Lara. RIP Sir Jimmy: it's all over now Mail on Sunday 30 October 2011
  2. ^ "Inside the UMI RTX Robot Arm". Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Marsden, Sam (13 November 2012). "Jimmy Savile 'engineered' his TV shows to abuse children". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Metal Hammer Iron Maiden – Jim'll Fix It – Dom Lawson Music Video on". Muzu.tv. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Jim Fixed It For Iron Maiden And Me The Guardian, 2 November 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2012
  6. ^ A Bit More of Fry and Laurie. 1991 Mandarin Publishing. ISBN 0-7493-1076-6
  7. ^ "Jim'll Fix It returns to BBC One for Christmas special". BBC. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "Jimmy Savile: BBC did nothing when director caught him in the act". The Telegraph. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "Jimmy Savile scandal: Alleged victims' stories". BBC News (BBC). 24 October 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  10. ^ "Savile producer: "I knew nothing"". ITV News (ITV). 17 October 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Chris Evans Breakfast Show, BBC Radio 2, broadcast 9 March 2011