BBC Fix It for Shane Richie

EastEnders’ actor Shane Ritchie is to step into Sir Jimmy Savile’s jogging trainers as he takes over presenting duties on children’s series, Jim’ll Fix It.


EastEnders’ actor Shane Ritchie is to step into Sir Jimmy Savile’s jogging trainers as he takes over presenting duties on children’s series, Jim’ll Fix It.

A rather baffling  idea for a ‘tribute’ is to air as part of the BBC’s Christmas line-up. While fans of Sir Jimmy will wonder why the BBC didn’t revive the show while the 84-year-old, who died last month, was still alive Richie is excited to be hosting the one-off special.

“I’m honoured to be part of this Christmas special and salute Sir Jimmy and Fix It for a new generation.” He said.

Sir Jimmy Savile made his television breakthrough on ITV, but became one of the BBC’s biggest personalities hosting music chart countdown Top of the Pops (pictured, right) on BBC One and Jim’ll Fix It for nearly 20 years. Sir Jimmy’s catchphrases, glitzy jewellery, equally as sparkling tracksuits and large cigars became synonymous with the Leeds-born presenter who also had a long and successful radio career.

The series saw children and teenagers writing in to the BBC – some 20,000 letters a week no less – asking for Sir Jimmy to make ‘their dreams’ come true. Anything could be requested from the serious to silly. All those who took part were given a metal badge with red lettering which stated ‘Jim Fixed It For Me’.

The final Jim’ll Fix It aired in 1994, which was bizarrely hosted by Children’s BBC presenter Andi Peters with Sir Jimmy in a secondary interviewee role.

The show had a revival by UKTV in 2006 with six new episodes entitled Jim’ll Fix It Strikes Again which saw Savile revisit some of the best remembered ‘fix it’s’ from the BBC series, and offered some new ‘fix it’s’ too.

The opening theme to Jim’ll Fix It regularly changed, but the iconic closing theme with the famous ‘ba-bah-bah’s’ is to return to the latest revival. The original was a staple part of the BBC One Saturday night schedules however the BBC have yet to confirm when the special, entitled, Jim’ll Fix It with Shane Richie, will air over Christmas. The 47-year-old Richie (pictured, below right) is best known for his role as pub landlord Alfie Moon in BBC misery-fest-soap-opera EastEnders.

It isn’t the first time such an idea has made it to air. ITV neglected their former star Jeremy Beadle in his final years, but after his death they realised what a talent they’d once had and commissioned ‘An Audience with Jeremy Beadle’ which was fronted by Chris Tarrant and re-branded ‘An Audience without..

A BBC insider is quoted as saying, “While the show was identified with Sir Jimmy, it remains a BBC format. This will be a tribute to the great man.” Sir Jimmy last major presenting role on BBC One was in 2006 when he closed the last-ever edition of Top of the Pops.

Last week Sir Jimmy was buried in Scarborough in a gold-coloured coffin following a three-day celebration of his life which started with the star laid ‘in state’ style in Leeds’ Queen’s Hotel for fans to pay their respects – which 1000s did so. It was followed by a funeral service in the city’s cathedral.

It has been confirmed Savile’s casket has been encased in concrete to stop protental grave robberies, although a spokesperson said nothing of value was buried with Sir Jimmy.