South Shields bar scraps poster encouraging guests to dress up like Jimmy Savile

Life of Riley has apologised for 'a bad error judgement'

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The Independent Online

A bar in South Shields has apologised for an "extremely offensive" online poster that urged guests to dress like serial paedophile Jimmy Savile.

Life of Riley's Facebook poster read: "Anything goes, Santa to Savile and everything inbetween."

It was removed from the site on Thursday following widespread criticism, with the bar apologising for "a bad error judgement".

The NSPCC told the BBC: "People need to consider the impact that making light of Savile's crimes has on survivors of sexual abuse.

"Living with the effects of these crimes can be a daily struggle, and insensitive and inappropriate promotions like this will only make it harder."

Alcohol awareness group Balance North East also slammed the promotion, with director Colin Shevills referring to it as "wholly irresponsible marketing".

He said: "This poster is appalling and sends out a multitude of inappropriate messages to young people.

"The images and the wording used are extremely offensive and are juxtaposed with offers of cheap alcohol, which we know makes people more vulnerable.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "We are aware of the event and officers from South Tyneside have spoken with the local licensing authority and the organisers and the poster has been withdrawn."

The event will still be held under the name Fancy Dress February.

Jimmy Savile, who was once a celebrated former Radio 1 DJ, died in 2011 aged 84 — and a year later allegations surfaced that he had sexually abused children for decades.