This is now such an established truth that it has already calcified into bitter cliche. Yet more gruesome details emerged this year about the abuse committed by Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris’s conviction on 12 counts of sexual assault, and the more than 20 women who alleged that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted or raped them. Cosby’s lawyers continue to deny the claims – and Cosby’s deeply loyal wife Camille has mooted the intriguing suggestion that if anyone here is a victim it’s poor ol’ Cliff Huxtable – but it seems pretty clear that Cosby’s reputation is trashed for good. Learning that your parents are fallible has always been a part of growing up; realising that your idols were monsters now seems part of the deal, too.
It’s pretty rich seeing someone at The Guardian bemoan a “loss of innocence” since they’ve been pushing the liberal agenda since Day One (or, more accurately) Year Zero.
Anyhow, we’ve heard a lot about the toxic BBB/general British entertainment culture of the recent past.
I remain agnostic on the matter of Jimmy Saville and others.
This woman, who was there, thinks much of this stuff is nonsense, at least as far as Benny Hill is concerned:
Maggie: Can you imagine sixteen working class girls leaving home to come and live in London and to enter this wonderful world of music? It was phenomenal. We had all the good things about showbusiness with nobody interfering with us – no mucky old men saying “I’ll make you a star.”
Digger: That’s good, because some of the actresses I’ve spoke to from that period say that there was sexism all the way through. You were very fortunate.
Maggie: We were so well protected and when need be we had two chaperones.
Digger: What did you think of all that nonsense about Benny Hill?
Maggie: This is a few years later with The Ladybirds. I loved Benny. When I give my talks I always talk about Benny but I say to people “Please try not to believe all these filthy stories.”
Digger: I don’t think many people do.
Maggie: I don’t think so. I’m pleasantly surprised and even in some toffee-nosed places where you think their noses are going to go up there’s a little smile there.
Digger: He seemed kind, gentle, sympathetic and a bit eccentric. Harmless and rather child-like.
Maggie: That’s it. Absolutely.
Digger: Like a big naughty boy.
Maggie: Yes, absolutely.
Here she is, the famous “Girl With the Glasses,” back when British pop stars faked American accents: