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Rolf Harris

Rolf Harris was a massive part of my youth. It would appear now that he was a massive part of other kids youth too – and not in a good way. I mean I always thought Saville was a sleazy sod but Rolf! Rolf was Aussie gold.

I use to watch his show “Cartoon Club” as a kid and as 19 year-old he headlined the end of year party at Nottingham University. He was great. He got bigger cheers than Dannii Minogue who was the second on the list. I was right at the front and she certainly was “well fit” in the live. I guess she was maybe (even then) too old for Rolf’s tastes and Kylie would have clobbered him with a knotty prop – always struck even from her days in Neighbours as a feisty one our Kylie.

So I saw Rolf with his wobble board and doing Jake The Peg, painted an Outback scene and did a few songs and told a few jokes. The consummate light entertainer – especially after a few tinnies of Fosters – yes there was a reason the evening had an Australian theme.

I just don’t get it. If you are a successful, wealthy, entertainer you can actually get a consensual sexual relationship with an attractive adult. So why all this nasty, grubby stuff? Is it to quote Wilde, “Dining with Panthers” or is it just egomania or what?

Rolf, you let a generation down. You let me down. Now you are going down.


  1. Sam Duncan says:

    Good post, Nick.I always found it strange (although not, at the time, in “that” way) that he started out in the ’60s revue scene along with the likes of the Two Ronnies, Beyond the Fringe, and all that lot, then as he became more famous, gravitated towards kids’ shows. As I say, at the time I never suspected anything sinister; it just seemed like an odd career trajectory, explicable perhaps by the relative innocence of his act and children’s love of trying to “tell what it is yet”. But maybe there was another reason for it.

    Or maybe it’s just hindsight. There was certainly never the sense, as Andy Kershaw pointed out about Saville, that he didn’t seem to enjoy his work for the sake of it. For example, it was his enthusiasm for cartoons that first prompted me to realise that the Warner shorts are actually spectacularly good little films, not just junk for the amusement of kids (when I watch them now, I can still hear his voice in the back of my head saying, “D’you see how they did X, Y or Z? Isn’t that clever?”). And anyone who can paint a decent landscape with emulsion and a four-inch brush has talent.

    A sad case, in every sense.

    NOTE – Apologies Sam, your comment was stuck in moderation. I just didn’t notice it until now (11:00 AM CET on 5th July). Not sure why it was in moderation, Regards John Galt

  2. John Galt says:

    I suspect that the not understanding part is a feature, not a bug.

    We’re programmed genetically to find the signitures of post-pubescent youth to be the most attractive as these are likely to be fertile young women in the prime of life most capable of turning our genetic baby gravy into healthy offspring which survive into sexual maturity. This is the very essence of “The Selfish Gene”.

    So all legality and morality aside there is a genetic “push” towards men having sex with post-pubescent girls. This is problematic (to say the least) in a society which has a legal code which states that post-pubescent girls under some arbitrary age limit (the local age of consent) are off-limits.

    The vast majority of people will override their genetic instincts on the basis of legal prohibition or (where the legal age of consent is very low), fear of becoming a social pariah.

    This is a genuine good as it is the self-control of society that is the hallmark of civilisation.

    Obviously, even in the most civilised societies, there will be those who would override these legal and social constraints to follow the primal instincts of “The Selfish Gene” or more honestly, “The Selfish Individual”.

    The vast majority of these will be restricted only by opportunity and as most be obvious, the opportunity of a celebrity, even a fat, old bastard like Rolf is far beyond that available to the proletariat at large.

    This is the reality of celebrity paedophiles like Gary Glitter and now Rolf Harris. It is not an excuse for their behaviour, but an explanation for it. He still needs to go down for a long time for his crimes.

  3. Mr Ed says:

    History is littered with men who have fought losing battles with, or simply conceded to, their dicks.

  4. endivior says:

    Well, it’s really a no-brainer when a bearded entertainer who put his mittses in the britches of the girls who made the claim and faces winter in the clinker via the Court of Judge Caractacus claims he was “just passing by”.

  5. NickM says:

    I always find the phrase “celebrity peadophiles” odd. “So what are you famous for?” “I embuggerated a five-year-old.” I mean it fair micturates over playing the Elgar cello concerto at the Royal Albert Hall does it not?

  6. “If you are a successful, wealthy, entertainer you can actually get a consensual sexual relationship with an attractive adult. So why all this nasty, grubby stuff?”

    That is the important question here. I can guess the answer, but being neither famous nor uncouth, I really don’t know.

    I still like Alice Cooper’s version of “Sun Arise” and Rolf Harris’ “Fine Day” though. F- em.

  7. John Galt says:

    “If you are a successful, wealthy, entertainer you can actually get a consensual sexual relationship with an attractive adult. So why all this nasty, grubby stuff?”

    You got me – I’ve no idea.

    Perhaps it’s the desire to push the boundaries as far as they can go? Maybe it is because of the very illegality of adult / child sexual activity that adds a frisson of extra excitement.

    Rolf Harris or Gary Glitter could perhaps say, but neither seem very willing to talk openly or publicly about it for obvious reasons. In the end, you just have to say “Sorry, but what you did was morally and legally offensive and you’re going in the pokey”.

    It’s not an ideal solution, but it works for me.

  8. Julie near Chicago says:

    Perhaps the next posting obviates the point of this, but for anyone who hasn’t seen it, let me recommend the LA posting on this case.

    Also, I suppose everyone remembers Anna Raccoon’s set of postings challenging the charges against Jimmy Savile.

    Things are not always as the Mighty and the Press would have us believe, nor even as Courts of Law have decided….

    N.B.: Never heard of either Mr. Savile nor Mr. Harris till the respective gentlemen’s cases hit CCiZ, Samizdata, LA. Therefore no dog in the fight and no opinion as to guilt or innocence, except that unless there’s something that strikes me as evidence the contrary I tend to grant benefit of the doubt.

  9. Lynne at Counting Cats says:

    Well I’m convinced he’s guilty beyond all reasonable doubt – NOT!

  10. And now he stands accused of having groped….Vanessa Feltz!

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