Jimmy Savile receives his knighthood from the Queen for entertainment and services

When I was living in Ireland, during the 1970s, Jimmy Savile was a big deal. The platinum haired DJ was host of “Top of the Pops” the most popular program by a mile on BBC television, featuring the top twenty songs in the charts that week. For a teenage generation, just feeling the first stirrings of the pop revolution, Jimmy Savile defined cool.

Savile was a welcome dash of color on a grey landscape and was universally loved.

By the time I emigrated Savile had moved on to his show “Jim’ll Fix It’ where he essentially made dreams come true for sick children.

Over the years he raised tens of millions for children’s charities and he perfected the role of aging eccentric rock star beloved by the masses.

Read more: Irish interview with Jimmy Savile, suspected mass pedophile, surfaces

He was revered from coast to coast and in Ireland, where he was a frequent visitor, he was mobbed. He was knighted by the Queen and he went to his grave last year as one of the most respected and beloved leaders of his generation.

Yet hiding in plain sight all the time was the fact that he was a vicious pedophile.

British police now say he may have abused by up to 300 young victims including, sickeningly, some of the ill children he helped.

How could he have gotten away with it for so long?

The answer now seems clear. He was so powerful that even those who knew his dirty secret stayed quiet about it.

That apparently included senior figures in the BBC who cast a blind eye on his activities because he was such a valuable commodity to them. A major investigation on him was shelved  after pressure from unknown quarters.

When he was alive several tabloids sniffed around the story and Savile went public on many occasions brushing the allegations aside.

It was incredibly brazen. To highlight the allegations against himself and dismiss them and it showed the depth of his arrogance and belief he could get away with it.

And of course he did.

He died a hero leaving hundreds of victims behind.

It is a powerful lesson in how plausible he was and how gullible people are to a smooth-talking utterly assured pervert who dropped names of powerful people when any questions arose.

Jimmy Savile’s game is finally up but those who protected him through the years must carry their own guilt now for not facing down the serial pedophile.

And his victims must surely question an establishment that refused to listen to them and listened to a pervert instead.