THE GOOD, THE GREAT & THE UGLY: No 104. Sir Jimmy Savile

I see it's London Marathon time again. Will there be the usual appearance by Sir Jimmy Savile, resplendent in gold lam?

Possibly. A couple of years ago he gave it up - but that was before the demise of Jim'll Fix It left him with more time on his hands.

So what does he do now?

Personal appearances at anything up to £10,000 a time, raising millions for charity, talking to his Royal friends, spending a lot of time in hospitals.

Hospitals? Is he unwell?

Hardly. With his marathons (he's done more than 200) and his cycling, he's probably the fittest 69-year-old cigar smoker there is. He just likes hospitals. "They're better than discos, those gaffs," he says. "They're open 24 hours."

And what does he do in them?

Well, by some accounts he practically runs Broadmoor. At Stoke Mandeville, he makes himself useful in the spinal unit he paid for. And at Leeds Infirmary, he talks to the bereaved and takes bodies to the mortuary.

So death holds no fear for him, then?

Apparently not. When his mother died, he stayed with her body for five days.

And was he particularly devoted to his mother?

Yes. He was her seventh child, what he calls a "not again" birth. "There were no kisses, no hugs, nothing. What we had was rapport."

What about his own home life?

He doesn't really have a home, just seven places around the country where he keeps a bed, a telephone and a microwave oven for warming up soup.

Yes, but what about his private life?

He has never been in love. His name has never been linked with a woman, although he insists, "I've done it in trains, boats, planes...everywhere."

Still, he probably has lots of close friends?

Not as such. "I don't have friends in the accepted social sense," he says. But he does get 700 Christmas cards every year.

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