Veteran British broadcaster Jimmy Savile dies: reports

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Jimmy Savile, a veteran British broadcaster and DJ, died on Saturday aged 84, media reports said.

Savile, famous for his bright white hair, huge cigars, outlandish tracksuits and jangling jewellery, died at his home in Leeds, northern England, Sky News and the BBC said.

He started out as a coal miner in Yorkshire, where he was born in 1926, the youngest of seven children. But injuries sustained during an underground explosion forced him out of mining and he went on to work a radio DJ.

In 1964 he became the first presenter of "Top of the Pops", Britain's top television chart show. Savile presented the prime-time programme throughout the 1960s and 1970s and returned for the programme's final edition in 2006.

Many Britons will also remember him fondly for his long-running television show "Jim'll Fix It", where he made the modest dreams of young viewers come true each week.

In his later years, the eccentric bachelor committed himself to charity, running 200 marathons and raising a reported £40 million for good causes. He was knighted for his charitable work in 1990.

© 2011 AFP

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