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Tuesday, 15 August, 2000, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Savile confronts modern art
Sir Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile, scarecrow, meets Sir Jimmy Savile, TV celebrity
Veteran entertainer Sir Jimmy Savile came face to face with a lifesize scarecrow model of himself at a new art exhibition.

Sir Jimmy, who was visiting the Tate Britain gallery in London for the first time, said he was flattered by the exhibit, entitled The Jimmy Savile Scarecrow.

The former DJ and cigar-toting TV presenter - best known for the long-running children's programme Jim'll Fix It - called the idea "totally brilliant".

"To finish up in the Tate is amazing in every sense of the word," said Sir Jimmy, who is due to take part in his 213th marathon in Glasgow on Sunday.

Scaring birds

"I've been scaring the birds away for years. I hope my namesake has more luck," he quipped.

Sir Jimmy Savile
Jimmy Savile presented Top of the Pops from 1964 to 1975
"Generally, I'm not very interested in art unless it lives, breathes and wears a short leather skirt."

Made by artists Julie and Graham Whiteley from Lancashire, the scarecrow clutches a model of the star's trademark cigar and wears a "Jim Fixed It For Me" medal.

The entertainer, who was knighted in 1990, devotes much of his time now to charity work and fund-raising for hospitals.

Scarecrow festival

Previously exhibited at the Wray Scarecrow Festival, an annual scarecrow-making competition in Lancashire, the Savile scarecrow was spotted by artists Jeremy Deller and Alan Cane.

The two artists toured Britain for a year looking for artefacts that would traditionally fall outside the art world.

Entitled Folk Archive, their project is on display as part of Intelligence: New British Art 2000, an exhibition of contemporary British artists, which runs at Tate Britain until 24 September.

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See also:

21 Mar 00 | Scotland
Sir Jimmy in a fix over crutches
23 Mar 00 | UK
Artists unveil Tate Britain
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