With thanks to Wendy Graham at Twitter for putting the idea into my mind ...
Here, then, is a brief extract from the transcript of proceedings at the second day of Sir Jimmy Savile's evidence to the specially reconvened Leveson inquiry into press ethics and practices ...
Counsel for the inquiry: Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable, Your Highness ... and yes, of course you may smoke.
Sir Jimmy will suffice.
Counsel: Thank you, Sir Jimmy. Now, I know this will be highly distressing for you, but can you cast your mind back to a time when the press began to show interest in your private life?
Yes, it was dreadful, made my life a nightmare.
Counsel: I am sure it was and did. It would be quite inappropriate for me to put a leading question to you ...
Lord Justice Leveson: Not at all. Lead away ...
Counsel: ... I am obliged, my lord. So, Sir Jimmy, would it be fair to say that the behaviour of journalists was deeply unpleasant, utterly intrusive and wholly unwarranted?
It was indeed. I am entitled to my privacy and they were just trying to sell newspapers.
Counsel: Yes, Sir Jimmy. And did there come a time when you realised these reporters were asking impertinent questions about your activities - I don't wish to be prurient - of an intimate nature?
They wanted people to confirm I'd been sexually molesting under-age girls.
Counsel: Well I never did!
... and they approached some of the girls' parents, whether or not I'd had my way with their daughters. And BBC colleagues who might have seen what I was up to.
Counsel: Precisely the kind of shameless conduct we are here to investigate and, if at all possible, stamp out in the interests of encouraging a free and responsible press.
I had them on my doorstep more than once. Kept going on about it ... wouldn't take No for an answer.
Counsel ... and yet you'd made it clear that you wished to have nothing to do with them?
Quite. After all I'd done for charity and all. It felt like a witch hunt, I was being hounded.
Counsel: We'll return at great length to your charity work, your knighthood, your general all-round goodness. But is it not also true that for all their invasions of your privacy, these scurrilous newshounds were quite incapable of proving any misconduct on your part?
They were indeed, even though I'd told a few people I was a bit of a queer 'un and that folks would not necessarily approve of all I'd done.
Counsel: Oh, I think we can safely forget all about that. Wholly irrelevant to the purpose of this inquiry.
Lord Leveson: I really must thank you, Sir Jimmy, for being such an open and helpful witness. I wish once again for it to be known that I need no lessons on the importance of the freedom of the press. I am entirely in favour of genuine, responsible investigative journalism which, at its best, relies as it should on the contents of press releases issued by the Metropolitan police and government departments.
I am, too. If I may borrow that Tom Stoppard line, I'm all for the free press, it's the bloody newspapers I can't stand. Especially if they're investigating me.
The inquiry was adjourned until a later date, when a report deploring the press, ignoring the realities of news gathering and recommending restrictions on journalism may or may not be published.
* See also:**** All books mentioned on these pages may be bought at the Salut! corner of the Amazon bookshelf at the following link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007492901/salusund-21