Sir Paul McCartney has become one of the first rock stars to speak about Jimmy Savile and the sexual climate of the Sixties and Seventies.

Few have said anything about their behaviour at the time, and the Savile revelations. Now the pop icon has spoken about the Beatles' friendship with Savile, in an interview with the Independent.

McCartney said that in the Beatles' early days they were close to Savile, and travelled with him. Later at the height of Beatlemania, Savile compered their shows, but the band always thought there was something a little bit suspect about him.

"We knew Jimmy and we worked with him; he was an MC on some of the shows. And we were coming back from a gig and he came in our van over the Pennines," McCartney said.


"He told us all these stories about his wartime exploits - how he had been buying chewing gum and nylons and all that, and selling them. He had all sorts of stuff going on. He was the older hustler guy, and we were very amused by these stories.

"We dropped him off outside his house and said, 'Can we come in for a coffee?' and he said, 'Not tonight, lads'. We thought, 'Why doesn't he let us in?' because most people would have let us in. So we always thought there was something a bit suspect."

McCartney went on to speak about the sexual mores of the period: "The whole scene was not so PC. It was a much more open scene, and free love and the Pill had just come in.

"The other aspect is that we, though not quite Jimmy, we were of the age of the girls. The closer we were in age the less it seemed to matter.

"We knew with under-16s it was illegal, so we didn't do it. We tried to make sure; we couldn't always be sure. But there was a definite no-no involved in under-age kids.

"Hey listen, we didn't have to worry. There were plenty of over 16-year-olds."

- Independent