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Blogs

The King strikes back

22 October 2011

1:09 PM

22 October 2011

1:09 PM

Good to see Jonathan King winning his battle with the Stalinist BBC. The corporation had edited
him out of a rerun of a 1970s Top of the Pops show, as if he had never existed. As those of us of a certain age know all too well, Mr King was an extremely regular performer on the show during that
time, either as himself or under a number of disagreeable disguises: the Piglets and Sakkarin to name but two. Indeed, when King was sentenced to seven years in prison for sex crimes I wrote to him
sympathising with the harshness of the tariff and the unfairness of the court case, but added that I thought he deserved at least seven years for ‘Una Paloma Blanca’. I got a remarkably cheerful letter back from his cell which vaguely agreed on the last point. On the BBC issue, as Terence
Blacker pointed out in The Independent, if you removed from Top of the Pops all performers who somehow offended liberal sensibilities you’d be left with a very short show.

King was convicted via the offices of Max Clifford, of course, almost twenty years after the alleged offences took place. There was no corroborating evidence and King was effectively unable to
defend himself. At least one of the men who claimed he had enjoyed consensual sex with King (there was never a suggestion that the sex was anything other than consensual) later admitted he was over
the age of consent at the time. King had believed them all to be over sixteen. Anyway, as a consequence, he lost his liberty for a remarkable seven years and has become a sort of pariah —
which is a shame, because he is a very clever man and, as I later found out, extremely good company. He has made a film of the case against him called Vile Pervert: The Musical which is a
fantastically berserk, bravado performance. You can download it from the computer thing, if you want.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


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