Gary Glitter documentary viewers feel ‘physically sick’ after watching ITV programme

Pop star was convicted of child sexual abuse in 2015 and sentenced to 16 years in prison

Roisin O'Connor
Wednesday 24 April 2024 09:26 BST
Gary Glitter and Jimmy Saville share ‘private joke’ on-air: ‘Have you heard about my reputation?’

A new documentary about disgraced pop star Gary Glitter had viewers “screaming at the TV’, as it delves into how the convicted paedophile was able to continue with his abuse for so long.

ITV’s Glitter: The Popstar Paedophile is a one-off programme that looks at Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, and how he was able to exploit his fame in order to sexually abuse children for decades.

Among the most talked-about clips is a resurfaced moment from The Big Breakfast, where Paula Yates asks Glitter about his popstar lifestyle, and he spoke about inviting Playboy bunnies to his home in the Seventies.

“Who do you coach down to your house now? Are they very young? Whenever I think of you, I do imagine you with rather young, nubile girls,” Yates asked.

“There is the fleeting look of absolute terror in Glitter’s eyes,” The Guardiany‘s critic observed, then: “Glitter’s relief when she appears to mean women in their early twenties is palpable.”

In another incident recalled by music journalist Garry Johnson, two men hired as security for a Glitter gig in the early Nineties discovered a collection of Polaroid photos of children while carrying boxes from.

When they confronted him, Johnson said, Glitter apparently cried and offered them money – the men refused and walked away from the job, but not before setting fire to his wig.

Glitter was convicted of child sexual abuse in 2015 (PA)

Most critics seemed to concur that the documentary contained “no great revelations”, but instead served as a reminder that, like Jimmy Savile, Glitter was hiding in plain sight.

He was convicted of child abuse images in 1999, after taking his broken laptop into a branch of PC World. In 2015, he was sentenced to 16 years in prison for sexually abusing three underage girls between 1975 to 1980.

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Viewers expressed their disgust as they tuned in to watch the documentary on Tuesday night (23 April).

“The Gary Glitter programme is a tough watch. To think he was a hero when I was a kid,” one person wrote on X/Twitter, as another said she felt “physically sick” after watching the documentary.

“’My God that Gary Glitter documentary on itv is vile, what a revolting piece of s***. Can’t even look at him!” another viewer said.

Gary Glitter was denied a prison release by the Parole Board (Metropolitan Police/PA) (PA Media)

Some viewers seemed to question why ITV had decided to make a new documentary, with one commenting: “Thank you so much ITV for airing the millionth documentary about Gary Glitter being a wrongun.

“Now all somebody needs to do is invent a time machine, get in it and travel back to the early Seventies where this information would actually be of use.”

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