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Jim'll Fix It

Jim'll Fix It was a long running British television show broadcast by the BBC.

Conception

The show debuted on 31 May 1975, and ran until July 1994, in the Saturday teatime slot. It was devised and hosted by Jimmy Savile, who would "fix it" for the wishes of several viewers (usually children) to come true each week. The producer throughout the show's run was Roger Ordish, always referred to by Savile as 'Doctor Magic'. The standard format was that the viewer's letter, which described their wish, would be shown on the screen and read out aloud by the viewer. This would be followed with a quick chat between Jimmy and the viewer, where they would discuss the wish. The wish would then be enacted (either live in the studio or shown in a pre-recorded format, which usually consisted of an outside broadcast), and finally the viewer would be presented with a medal which had the words "Jim fixed it for me" engraved on it. Some children apparently thought that Jim's first name was "Jim'll", so some letters shown on the programme started "Dear Jim'll".

Well known "Fix-it's"

A group of Cub Scouts from the 2nd Sutton St Mary’s troop, who wrote to the programme asking to have a meal in an unusual place. The show opted to send them, complete with packed lunch, to ride the Revolution at Pleasure Beach Blackpool — the hilarious result, thanks to the force of gravity and momentum, being lots of little faces full of food and drink. This was repeated with the same former Cubs in 2007 for Jim'll Fix It Strikes Again, with similar results.

A young Doctor Who fan was able to take part in a short adventure titled A Fix with Sontarans with Colin Baker. The fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, also appeared in one episode, where he tore off and handed away the frayed ends of his scarf to girls visiting the studio.

Veteran movie actor Peter Cushing (who also played Doctor Who in two cinematic outings) wrote to the show in 1986 to ask if a variety of rose could be named after his late wife.

Later series saw Jim distributing medals from his "magic chair" which concealed the medals in a variety of robotic compartments. The "magic chair" was the brainchild of Kevin Warwick and was built for the BBC by his team at the University of Reading.

In the 1980s a young boy called Dom Lawson who now works for Kerrang and Metal Hammer magazine and got his wish to be Iron Maiden's tech for the day. This came true and he also met the band. This was found out in Iron Maiden's 'A Matter of Life and Death' tour book, where Dom Lawson speaks about Iron Maiden and his history on the band

Theme tune

The series is known for its iconic closing theme tune.

ITV1's Saturday Night Takeaway, for the first three series, had a slot called "Jim Didn't Fix It", though how ITV got hold of the music, since Jim'll Fix It was a BBC show, is unclear.

References in Popular Culture

In an episode of BBC comedy Citizen Smith, amused at the latest failure on the part of the Tooting Popular Front, Shirley suggests Wolfie writes to Jim'll Fix It to bring about the revolution.

A regular feature of Stephen Fry's 1988 Radio 4 series Saturday Night Fry was entitled Stephen Will Do His Level Best To Comply With Your Wishes.

An episode of Drop The Dead Donkey featured a young girl reading the news alongside regular newsreader Sally Smedley as her "Fix-it" wish.

In the third episode of season 1 of the HBO/BBC sitcom Extras, Ricky Gervais's character Andy describes the letter his agent wrote for him: "It's like he's writing to 'Jim'll Fix It.'"

2007 revival

In October 2006 UKTV announced that they were to revive Jim'll Fix It with a new series provisionally called Jim'll Fix It: Now and Then.

This new series, which sees the return of Sir Jim (complete with customary jewellery, garish tracksuits and big red chair), began on April 5 2007 on UKTV Gold and was actually titled Jim'll Fix It Strikes Again. The series set out to show classic moments from the original shows, 're-fix' it for some of the original participants, and make dreams come true for a number of new people.

In the first episode, which was co-presented by Mel Giedroyc, the infamous 'fix-it' was recreated whereby a group of Cub Scouts attempted to consume food and drink whilst travelling on a roller coaster. The show went back to Pleasure Beach Blackpool and once again rode the Irn Bru Revolution. It featured a number of the original lads — now grown men some 26 years older — who donned woggles, shorts and caps and made even more of a mess than they did back in the 80s. Towards the end, Go West performed their top five hit We Close Our Eyes.

UKTV Gold is looking for participants for a second series of Jim'll Fix It Strikes Again; be they adults who wrote to Jim the first time around and were unsuccessful, or people who want their dreams realised now. An example of the latter is the woman featured in the first episode who, inspired by watching Strictly Come Dancing, wanted to dance with pro dancer Ian Waite after having not danced for several decades. She was paired-up with Ian and actually got to dance the tango in front of the Strictly Come Dancing studio audience and panel of Judges.

References

External links

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