Rolf Harris, a beloved Australian children's TV entertainer resident in Britain since the 1950s, was sent down yesterday on sexual assault charges stemming from encounters dating back decades. His victims were as young as 7 years old. Artist Harris, for whom the Queen sat, faces the rest of his life in prison.
More victims have come forward recently, reports The Guardian and news.com.au. His paintings have been withdrawn from sale, but you can still buy limited edition prints.
Two years ago, Sir Jimmy Savile was posthumously exposed as a sexual abuser of children, with more than 500 people reportedly victimized. Savile's high position within the BBC, and the protection it afforded the star entertainer, drew the corporation much criticism.
Then, of course, there is Gary Glitter. And Max Clifford. And Chris Denning.
These men walked in the same circles, and to those of us who grew up with post-war Britain's light entertainment TV monoculture, their dethronings are amazing (If not unexpected in the case of Savile, left).
People knew, but it was only mentioned in the form of insinuations in TV comedy and radio remarks.
Which gets us to the outside-the-court interviews with some of Harris's light entertainment contemporaries following his conviction, embedded below. I don't quite know what to say about these interviews, except that they are strange.
The subjects are so nervous, but they babble on, shifting between performance, incredulity, and what they think is subtle cynicism.
When people should have spoken, they were quiet; now, when they would be wise to say nothing, they just can't stop themselves. Read the rest