A top Jimmy Savile impersonator is hanging up his shellsuit – for fear of being branded a paedophile.
David Chase, 50, was well known in his home town of Somerton, Somerset, for dressing up as the former Top of the Pops DJ.
Last year he switched on the town’s Christmas lights dressed as the shamed star and even headed the Olympic torch relay through the streets earlier this summer.
But devastated David has now retired after conceeding it “all seems wrong now”.
He said: “In the last few weeks, I am sure like many others, I have been shocked and saddened by the accusations about Jimmy Savile and feel sadness of course for any victims of his actions.
“I never knew him personally and I never met him, but he was a part of my growing up – Top of the Pops, Jim’ll Fix It etc..
“You can wipe away images on tape but it’s hard to wipe away memories.”
After Savile’s death in October last year David held a tribute disco, which led to him being given the honour of switching on the Somerset town’s Christmas lights.
Earlier this year he ran ahead of the Olympic Torch through Somerton dressed in Savile’s trademark shellsuit and clutching a large cigar.
He added: “As the time of the Olympic Torch relay drew near, it became clear that no-one in Somerton was running and people in the town said, ‘go for it Dave – run as Jimmy’.
“It seemed perfect – a runner himself, a charity fundraiser involved with the Paralympics – someone people would recognise.
“On the day the crowd got behind me and I felt proud.
“How wrong it all seems now. I feel for the parents who had to explain on that day to their children who Jimmy Savile was, and may now have to explain a very different story.
“Of course, some people say ‘a man is innocent until proven guilty’, as much as others say ‘there’s no smoke without fire’.
“Whatever the truth, I like to think Jimmy Savile’s in heaven or hell, whichever he deserves.”
Meanwhile, a car firm has changed its name from Trim’ll Fix It to avoid being linked to the shamed child molester.
The car interior specialist has been renamed TFI Motor Trimmers amid fears the old monicker – a pun on Savile’s former show Jim’ll Fix It – could damage business.
Bosses also fear its office and vehicles in Exeter, Devon, could be targeted by vigilantes.
Joint-owner Leigh Sercombe said it will cost around £2,000 to change the name, which has been in place since the business launched 15 years ago.
“We want to dissociate ourselves from him,” he said.”Customers were saying ‘I guess you’ll have to change your name now’ and we were worried about vandalism.
“It’s going to cost more than £2,000. The old name is on the building, vans, the websites, leaflets, business cards.
“As soon as I saw the story in the news I knew it would cost us.”
Leigh owns the company with dad David, who said: “We chose the original name because it went well with what we did.
“Funnliy enough I met him when he visited the area once to have work done on his car. I thought he was crazy.”
Savile’s name has also been removed from the nearby Royal Marines Commando Training Centre, Lympstone, where he was a regular visitor.
The Savile Room – an area for junior ratings and their families – now been renamed The Families Room.