The grossly sordid British

How they acquired a taste for the trashy, the vulgar, the stupid and the worthless

The toffs of Auntie hired Jimmy Savile, says Dalrymple, for his cunning and ability to take advantage of changing times. He was knighted, for services to downward cultural drift.

Dalrymple writes:

Official endorsement of execrable taste was a boon to those who had to fill several channels a day for 24 hours, because stupid programmes of execrable taste are so easy to produce by comparison with those of intellectual or artistic value, which can be produced only in limited quantity.

Savile was a militant vulgarian to the last,

as his gravestone demonstrated. But it is only the vulgarity of modern British gravestones to a slightly higher degree.

Savile was

both a beneficiary and shaper of contemporary British taste: he found it bad and left it worse. If his field had been art instead of prolefeed, the critics would have praised him for being avant-garde and transgressive.

Savile was a product

not just of the BBC, but of the British people, of whose taste he was a true reflection.


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