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Louis Theroux: 'If I could see Jimmy Savile again I'd take one of his victims to confront him'

Documentary maker Theroux admitted there was nothing he could have said to Savile which would have made him be honest

Louis Theroux and Jimmy Savile in 'when Louis Met Jimmy'.

Confronting a monster in 'when Louis Met Jimmy'. Photo: BBC Photo Archive

Louis Theroux has revealed that if he could have one last conversation with anyone it would be Jimmy Savile, confronting the DJ and sexual predator with one of his victims to make him answer for his crimes.

The documentary maker told The Big Issue there was nothing he could have said during his encounter with Savile that would have made him honest. Savile spent decades presenting prime-time television and radio before hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse emerged after his death in 2011.

Theroux’s time with Savile in the 2000 documentary When Louis Met Jimmy became a source of intrigue for the filmmaker, who said he liked Savile at the time but was “haunted” by their time together.

“There’s nothing I could have said then that would have made him be honest about anything,” Theroux said. “He was obviously a pathological liar as well as a sexual predator. He was so wrapped up in his pathology, so wrapped up in his predatory characteristics, it would be almost impossible to communicate with him meaningfully about any of it.”

Given the chance again, Theroux said he would take along Kat Ward, one of Savile’s victims, who said Theroux had been “hoodwinked” by Savile.

Speaking to The Big Issue for his Letter to My Younger Self, Theroux said he would want Ward to drive the conversation, to try and break past Savile’s deception.

He said: “If I did meet him again, instead of just speaking to him I’d bring along Kat Ward, an abuse survivor I interviewed. If she was up for it obviously. And basically I’d let her drive the conversation rather than me.”

After the original 2000 documentary aired, Theroux admitted he could have probed Savile more about some of the rumours that had surrounded his behaviour since at least the 1970s.

He revisited the chapter in his 2016 documentary Savile, where he asked Savile’s victims – including Ward – what they made of the original and examined his guilt over not exposing one of Britain’s most prolific sexual predators.

Now he says confronting the disgraced entertainer with his victims and holding him to account would be the best opportunity.

“You could do a sort of, almost a piece of theatre, some sort of intervention. You could shout at him. But I’m not sure quite what good that would do me, whether that would be in any way helpful to me,” Theroux said.

“I’d prefer to focus on the dignity of the survivors. So if I could facilitate some kind of act of holding him to account that involved some of the victims, that would mean something to me.”

Theroux’s new series Forbidden America, exploring the far-right and radicalisation in the USA, begins this Sunday (February 20) at 9pm on BBC Two.

His full interview for Letter With My Younger Self is in the new Big Issue, out Monday February 21.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine. If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member. You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

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