Monday, 1 July 2019

Louis Theroux – a study in hypocrisy

This blog has previously written about the hoax ITV Exposure programme from October 2012 that triggered the national furore over Jimmy Savile which led to the Metropolitan Police Operation Yewtree ‘investigation’. This in turn fuelled an explosion of historical sex abuse allegations, most notably involving ageing celebrities. The BBC responded to the ensuing public outcry by commissioning an investigation headed by Dame Janet Smith into the activities of Savile at the BBC. An analysis of Dame Janet’s findings is here, and the cultural assumptions underpinning them are given here Once again this blog is indebted to the intrepid bloggers Moor Larkin, Rabbitaway and the late Anna Raccoon, whose detailed research has uncovered the deception and duplicity of those promoting the Savile hoax.

The Dame Janet report was for the most part deeply flawed, as it was based on the false belief that, in her words, Savile was a ‘prolific sex offender’, a conclusion she quickly came to, based on nothing more that the fabricated claims made in the ITV Exposure programme. Consequently, her report can only be regarded as largely worthless in determining Savile’s guilt since, due to her ingrained bias, she made only the most cursory investigation into the allegations, as she bent over backwards in her eagerness to accept as true the allegations she was presented with. Despite these shortcomings her report did reveal some important information about five of the principle accusers in the Exposure programme involving Jimmy Savile at the BBC.

She rightly rejected the claims made by the former TV presenter Wilfred De’ath who repeated to her the tale he told in the Exposure programme. However, she had obtained BBC documents which cast doubt on De’ath’s claims. After re-interviewing him she concluded that his account ‘contained so many inaccuracies’ that no reliance can be placed upon it. The investigative blogger Moor Larkin had reached the same conclusion some years earlier.

In Dame Janet’s report the witness C30, a former Duncroft pupil, revealed similar claims against Savile that were made by the one time Duncroft pupil Fiona in Exposure, so it appears likely that they are both the same individual. Dame Janet concluded that ‘there are a number of elements of her evidence (C30) which are open to question and I do not feel able to make a decision about her claim of abuse, beyond saying that it might have happened and it might not.’ However, evidence has come to light that Fiona arrived at Duncroft only after the Clunk-Click series ended, and thus her testimony on Exposure (and to Dame Janet if she is C30) must be false.

In the Exposure programme another Duncroft pupil Charlotte claimed that Savile assaulted her in his camper van in the grounds of Duncroft School, during the recording of a radio show, which could only have been Savile’s Travels. As there is no reference in the Smith report to this allegation it must be concluded that it was another attempt by the Exposure producers to defame the memory of Savile. Charlotte would have known that there would be no point in repeating to Dame Janet her Exposure allegations, since her inquiry would have access to BBC records that would reveal that no radio programme had ever been broadcast from Duncroft School, thus confirming that the claims Charlotte made in the Exposure programme were a complete fabrication.

This brings us to the main subject of this blogpost, the final two individuals who made accusations against Savile about his behaviour at the BBC. They are Val and Angie, who formed a crucial part of the Exposure programme’s agenda of demonising Savile, as they both claimed that Savile’s behaviour had been abusive and insensitive. In her report Dame Janet related their claims in some depth. They are described as two of a group of teenage girls who formed what she termed the ‘London Team’, who regularly attended Top Of The Pops recordings. The accounts of Val and Angie are substantially the same as that given in the Exposure programme, although much additional detail has been provided.

For some considerable time after the Exposure broadcast the investigative bloggers Anna Raccoon, Moor Larkin and Rabbitaway were of the opinion that Val and Angie were in all probability an invention of the presenter Mark Williams-Thomas (MWT), since there was no explanation as to how the producers had managed to discover them over forty years after the events. The faces of Val and Angie were never shown, only back views after they had been provided with wigs. To add to the disguise their comments were voiced over. It is also difficult to accept that, after such a length of time, both women would coincidentally be so fearful to reveal their identities that they had to resort to wigs and a voiceover.

However, the BBC Smith report provided an explanation as to how they were contacted. There is a strong prima facie case that the presenter Mark Williams-Thomas would have received their details from Louis Theroux, who recorded a programme about Savile in 2000 titled When Louis Met Jimmy. Two women had written to Theroux to correct the impression in his programme that Savile did not have regular girlfriends, and they confirmed that neither of them experienced any abuse from Savile, making it clear that their relationships with him had been consensual, and that they had stayed on friendly terms with him for some time afterwards. So the evidence of abusive liaisons Val and Angie gave in the Exposure programme was at complete variance with what was being claimed by the two women in the unsolicited letter to Theroux in which they wished to put the record straight.

The reason for the wigs and voiceover now becomes obvious, since their families would have known that they enjoyed an amicable relationship with Savile and that they were now telling the very opposite of the true state of affairs. Unfortunately, the Dame Janet report fails to connect the testimony of Val and Angie to the inquiry with the two women who wrote to Theroux. The question that needs to be answered is whether the two women who wrote to Louis Theroux were the same two who were masquerading as Val and Angie in the Exposure programme.

In the Dame Janet report the testimony of Val and Angie is given in paragraphs 5.10 to 5.29, and that of the two women who wrote to Theroux is in paragraphs 6.62-6.69. The similarities between the two accounts are that there were two women involved, that their relationship with Savile lasted several years during the same time period between the late 1960s and early 1970s, that the two were part of a wider group of girls, and the most specific of all, that one of the women (Angie) had begun a sexual relationship with Savile when she was aged 15.

Mark Williams-Thomas has clamed that the research he made into obtaining the information revealed in the Exposure programme was conducted ‘like a criminal police investigation’. This is a laughable exaggeration since, as far as the main accusers are concerned, there were only three sources namely, (1) Meirion Jones the producer of the aborted BBC Newsnight investigation into Savile, (2) Wilfred De’Ath who made allegations about Savile in The Oldie magazine, and (3) the person who provided him with information about Val and Angie.

It is obvious that Williams-Thomas would have known of the existence of the When Louis Met Jimmy programme. Moreover, in the light of this knowledge he would have behaved in a seriously negligent manner if he had failed to contact Theroux to ascertain whether he possessed any information about Savile to back up the Duncroft allegations supplied by Meirion Jones. Given the nature of his investigation it is highly unlikely that Theroux would not have been eager to be as co-operative as possible to such a request. In the circumstances there is no reason to suppose that Theroux would not have willingly agreed to provide Williams-Thomas with a copy of the letter from the two women revealed in the Smith report.

Over the past few months this blog has made three attempts to contact Louis Theroux via Twitter, asking whether the ITV Exposure team had made any contact with him, and if so what his response was. Theroux has made no reply to these questions. Fortunately the Rabbitaway blog has shed some further light on this matter by publishing two Twitter comments from Jonathan King. The first states ‘A one word answer from Louis Theroux about the connection to MWT- Deny’. The second tweet confirms this ‘He essentially denies he ever gave M Williams-Thomas anything, but especially not the letter from the two girls’.

The view of this blog is that Theroux appears to have chosen to be in denial about his involvement in this matter. To be fair to him he had been placed in an invidious situation. Within a very short time following the Exposure broadcast the mainstream media, children’s charities, politicians, police and public opinion had all begun to engage in a frenzied denunciation of the ‘paedophile’ Savile. He became a national bogeyman, an incarnation of evil, a figure of hate to all right thinking people, especially for those with an agenda of highlighting male predatory sexual behaviour, who believed that in the past society had turned a blind eye to sexual abuse. Moor Larkin has coined the word ‘Savilisation’ to describe the national hysteria over paedophilia and ‘inappropriate’ sexual behaviour which the Exposure programme triggered.

Given the extremely hostile national mood towards Savile, Theroux would have been placed in a quandary. Should he publicly acknowledge that Val and Angie were now telling a completely distorted picture of Savile’s behaviour, or should he remain silent? He chose the latter course, since he would quickly have become aware that the demonisation and scapegoating of Savile was a cause which had the full support of his employer the BBC. He would also have noted that the ‘believe the victim’ agenda enjoyed widespread mainstream political acceptance. As the blogpost previous to this one observed, the BBC is packed with group-think employees whose reflex response is to parrot the correct PC line on any subject. Theroux would not want to isolate himself from this consensus and put at risk his influential and well paid TV presenter job.

The PC establishment network which supports this agenda appears to be engaged in a determined conspiracy to cover up and conceal the truth about Savile because revealing the falsehoods would undermine their cherished mantra of ‘believe the victim’ for which the Savile hoax has become the cornerstone. If the true facts became more widely known in the public domain, the whole house of cards promoting ‘believe the victim’ would come crashing down, resulting in untold damage to the credibility of the carefully crafted establishment PC narrative on this subject. It would also reveal their utter credulity in swallowing so uncritically the deceits in the Exposure hoax.

Louis Theroux presented a follow up programme about Savile in 2016. Its aim was described in these terms ‘in the light of the unmasking of Jimmy Savile as a predatory sex offender, Louis Theroux sets out to understand how a man at the centre of the British entertainment and charitable fundraising for decades was able to get away with a long litany of crimes. In this reflective film, Louis talks to some of Savile’s victims and to people who worked closely with him, and re-examines moments from the original film as well as footage that has never aired before on television’.

The first ‘victim’ of Savile presented was the former Duncroft pupil Kat Ward who would have been the star witness in the proposed BBC Newsnight programme about Savile before it was shelved. The blogger Anna Raccoon, herself a former Duncroft pupil, has pointed out the impossibility of Ward’s claims and condemned Theroux for his failure to ask any rigorous or probing questions to justify her allegations. Moor Larkin has examined the claims of the other two ‘victims’ shown in the programme and has exposed the improbability of their claims.

The programme also interviewed several female colleagues who had worked closely with Savile over many years. None of them found anything untoward in his behaviour, confirming what others in a similar position had stated in the Dame Janet Smith report. In fact, neither the BBC, nor the NSPCC, NAPAC and Childline received any complaints about Savile during his lifetime. The only complaints against him reported when he was still alive were investigated by Surrey Police who found insufficient evidence to charge him. Most pertinently it should be noted that there appears to have been no complaints about Savile’s behaviour received by Louis Theroux following his When Louis Met JimmyTV programme.

Part of the 2016 programme about Savile focuses on Theroux’s contribution to the Dame Janet report. Theroux states ‘that amongst the many victims interviewed were the two women who had written me a letter in 2000 and who I had met for coffee. They had come forward amid the tsunami of revelations to say that their relations with Jimmy Savile had been abusive. That was the closest I had got to getting at the truth. At the time I met them they were still describing themselves as his friends, but I feel as though, had they been more able to speak out at that time, I could have done more to bring out the truth while he was alive. It was upsetting to realise that I had actually met two victims while Jimmy Savile was still alive. I wondered whether if I’d handled the encounter in a different way they might have felt able to say more, or whether they simply hadn’t been ready, intimidated by the perception of his power.’

Just about everything in this statement contradicts what is in the Theroux part of Dame Janet’s report (paragraphs 6.62-6.69). Let’s unpick his points one by one: ‘amongst the many victims interviewed were the two women who had written to me in 2000 and who I had met for coffee’. In fact Dame Janet made no claim to have interviewed the two women who wrote to Theroux, she only received a transcript of their letter, together with information that Theroux had met them both about a year later. Moreover, she never described them as victims. ‘They had come forward amid the tsunami of revelations to say that their relations with Jimmy Savile had been abusive’. This is not the case, the two women in this section of the report had merely written to Theroux back in 2000 to say the exact opposite. This is made clear in paragraph 6.66 of Dame Janet’s report which stated that ‘neither woman alluded to any abuse having taken place and that they made it clear that their relationships with Savile had been consensual’.

‘That was the closest I had got to getting at the truth. At the time I met them they were still describing themselves as his friends, but I feel as though, had they been more able to speak out at that time, I could have done more to bring out the truth while he was alive.’ The ‘truth’ that Theroux is talking about here is not what he was told by the two women who wrote to him, but instead what Val and Angie are claiming in the ‘London Team’ part of Dame Janet’s report (paragraphs 5.10-5.29).

‘It was upsetting to realise that I had actually met two victims while Jimmy Savile was still alive. I wondered whether if I’d handled the encounter in a different way they might have felt able to say more, or whether they simply hadn’t been ready, intimidated by the perception of his power.’ In this damning revelation Theroux is transferring the abuse claims of Val and Angie to the two women who wrote to him. He is doing this because he knows full well that Val and Angie are indeed the same two women who wrote to him. But as Val and Angie they are telling a completely different story to that contained in both their letter to Theroux and when they met him for coffee. It is worth mentioning that the repeated trope that people were ‘intimidated by the perception of his [Savile] power’ has been debunked innumerable times by Moor Larkin.

Given the above evidence it appears conclusive that Louis Theroux has behaved in the most hypocritical and deceitful manner imaginable. He had developed a friendly relationship with Savile, and met him on several occasions over the years after getting to know him during the making of the When Jimmy Met Louis programme. Yet when the balloon went up after the ITV Exposure programme he remained silent despite knowing that the testimony of Val and Angie was the opposite of what he had been told in their letter. Not content with this betrayal he then goes on to twist the knife into Savile’s reputation by presenting a new programme about him, promoting some patently false additional accusers, whilst deflecting attention from his own role in this deceit by piously asking whether ‘I could have done more to bring out the truth while he was alive.’

So why was Theroux so brazen, since he must have known that both the Dame Janet report and his 2016 broadcast about Savile would remain in the public domain, and could be checked against one another? Probably because, since nothing had appeared in the mainstream media to challenge the Exposure and Yewtree claims, he may well have thought that nobody was digging away to get at the truth. He may also have believed, with some justification, that any dissenters from the mainstream narrative would, in his own words, ‘be intimidated by the power’ of the PC establishment and their determination to prevent the truth from becoming more widely known. He was probably right about this since Theroux is living proof of the extent the BBC, ITV, the police, politicians, children’s charities, mainstream journalists and all their hangers-on are prepared to go to ensure that the truth about Savile remains concealed in order to reinforce their ‘believe the victim’ agenda, and to hide their collective credulity in so blindly accepting the Exposure deception in the first place.


  1. I'm not entirely convinced that Theroux is guilty as charged. His contact with the two women who wrote the letter in 2001 was shared with his producer, who I assume was still Will Yapp. It has also been stated that Theroux and his producer discussed the letter with a BBC executive at a higher level. Thus there are several sources that could have helped Williams-Thomas obtain contact with the two women. To be fair, Theroux appears to have answered your question via Jonathan King.

    Do not underestimate the power of the "grapevine" either. It seems very unlikely that Theroux would not have discussed his personal revelation about the 15yr-old sexual encounter with his journalistic associates - hence how "everyone knew".

    Dame Janet Smith actually concurs with the decisions made by Theroux and all the others involved at the time, in that the sex was consensual, the women not abused and wished to remain anonymous. Needless to say this is entirely at odd with her "moral danger" precepts elsewhere in her report.

    One final possibility is that Williams-Thomas' "two women" are a complete fiction in themselves, but were telling a story that had become known via the Theroux Letter. This appears to have happened in the case of "Sue" who told a story of Jimmy kissing a young girl in studios in Leeds. That story had all begun with an email to Meirion Jones about the exact same circumstances and location, but the email appears NOT to have come from "Sue".

    1. Thank you, I have only just noticed your comment and am sorry for the delay in responding.

      I agree that the content of Theroux's letter would have been shared with BBC colleagues. However, Theroux would have been the obvious first choice for the ITV Exposure team to approach for information about Savile. In any case he knew the content of the letter and stayed silent about the truth when the Exposure balloon went up. His comments in his 2016 follow up programme were hypocrisy on a grand scale.

      I agree that the 15 year old sexual encounter was at odds with Dame Janet's 'moral danger' agenda. But to be fair to her she acknowledged that Theroux & BBC colleagues were right not to involve the police given that Angie (at the time) did not wish to make a complaint.

      I agree that there is a lot that is questionable about the Sue kissing incident at Leeds, but as this does not appear to be in any way criminal I have not pursued it, given that MWT has provided enough rope to hang himself with the other more serious allegations in Exposure.