In 1959, the BBC Light Programme aired its first episode of The Navy Lark - written by Laurie Wyman and George Evans, and produced by Alastair Scott-Johnston.
"The Navy Lark" movie was also released in 1959, from the same writing team, and featuring many of the cast from the radio show. "The Navy Lark" was an unstoppable franchise from its beginnings.
The successful series made household names of Leslie Phillips, Jon Pertwee, Ronnie Barker and Richard Caldicot, among others. It ran from 1959 to 1976, during which time Alastair Scott-Johnston was a person of considerable influence at the BBC.
So powerful was Alastair that he changed Ronald Barker's name to Ronnie Barker overnight and would brook no discussion on the subject; what Alastair said was the law of the land as far as the show was concerned. And that remained the case until the series aired its final episode in 1976. He was a rainmaker at the BBC, and powerful enough to begin or end careers. I'm sure that to the end of his life, he could pick up a phone, speak with whoever he wanted at the BBC, and get things done that needed to be done.
Alastair adopted his daughter Fiona around the time the series began, and if one is to believe Fiona, they had a difficult relationship and were mostly estranged. But, we've learned not to believe one word this woman says.
From a reliable source today, it appears that Alastair came to Duncroft 'many times' while his daughter was there, and during the time she was ostensibly going up to London to see Jimmy Savile. She has never mentioned this.
So, it begs the question; if Jimmy Savile, pretty much a new boy at the BBC compared to Scott-Johnston, was misbehaving to the extent accused, then WHY didn't his daughter Fiona go immediately to her father and have Savile dismissed or at least hauled off the road and given a serious talking to? Scott-Johnston could most certainly have made an enormous amount of trouble for Jimmy, given his power position.
But she didn't complain to her father, which suggests to me that nothing went on with Jimmy Savile at the BBC or at Duncroft, except for what has been reported - a drive in his Rolls and some visits to the studio for Top of the Pops. Further, as Fiona always used her father's last name in her Duncroft social media communications and when she was at Duncroft, surely Jimmy, not exactly a slouch, would have put the two names together and steered absolutely clear of Fiona at the very least, let alone her school-mates. Or if he did encounter Fiona, he would have been nothing more than respectful. In fact, that seems like a more likely scenario. She has never once intimated on social media at least, both in public posts and private communications, that she complained to her father and/or that he refused to believe her.
In closing, please take the time to read this excellently-researched blog entry by "Moor Larkin," from last year. Jim Cannot Fix This: The Navy Lark. A lot more to think about.