Louis Theroux on Jimmy Savile: “I knew I never quite got his number”

Theroux speaks candidly ahead of his new BBC2 film about the disgraced entertainer

Louis Theroux has spoken candidly about his encounter with the late Jimmy Savile ahead of his new documentary about the disgraced encounter.

Louis Theroux: Savile, which airs on BBC2 tonight (October 2) at 9pm, sees the documentary-maker look back at the making of 2000’s When Louis Met Jimmy, a film which revealed glimpses of Savile’s dark side, but not the prolific paedophilia later exposed in Mark Williams-Thomas’s programme The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile.

Discussing his 2000 Savile documentary with The Guardian, Theroux said: “I was sort of relieved when I went and watched it again, within the space of weeks after Mark Williams-Thomas’s programme came out. And it’s not the cuddly portrait of an eccentric.”

“But then as much as I’d like to think that I got Jimmy Savile right, I didn’t imagine him to be capable of those crimes,” Theroux continued. “And what I’ve had to get my head around is the fact that I grew to like him. I kept friendly relations with him for a few years after making the programme.”

Explaining that for the new documentary he has had to analyse how Savile managed to dupe him, Theroux added: “I’ve had to revisit that and think about that. Who was he? How much of the person that I thought I knew was real? And you have to re-evaluate and unpick a lot of memories and think about that. I mean, I knew I never quite got his number. I knew there was an aspect of his life to do with his sexual interests that remained opaque to me.”