Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story
By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Disturbing docu describes sexual abuse, celebrity worship.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Child and adult sexual abuse are major themes. It discusses how celebrity worship and the flaws of the British criminal justice system are partially responsible for enabling Jimmy Savile's behavior for decades. Reforms to the legal system is discussed.
Positive Role Models
Jimmy Savile was never convicted, but is considered a sexual predator by British law enforcement based on evidence. Some people knowingly protected him, others unwittingly enabled him.
Some charity leaders and abuse survivors are Black or Asian. Individuals with physical disabilities are also featured.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
There are are brief, but explicitly detailed, descriptions of grooming behavior and sexual assaults against children and vulnerable populations.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Archive footage of Savile features lots of innuendo, some of which is lewd. Conversations about having romantic relationships and casual sex.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Very occasional cursing ("f--k").
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Savile smoked cigars frequently as part of his persona. Hard liquor bottles and drinking is sometimes visible.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story is a docuseries that focuses on the life of a major British celebrity who was a predatory sexual abuser. It contains disturbing details associated with sexual crimes and other criminal behavior. Archive footage features sexuality and lewd humor, lots of cigar smoking, and occasional drinking. Curses are sometimes audible. It's not intended for kids, and may be triggering for some viewers. If you or someone you know is affected by sexual violence, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE, contact RAINN, or find a local center for support.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story
Based on 1 parent review
Pointless documentary about a vile man
Report this review
What's the Story?
JIMMY SAVILE: A BRITISH HORROR STORY is a two-part t.v. documentary about the public and secret life of famed British DJ and celebrity Jimmy Savile. The eccentric Savile was best known for hosting popular TV shows like Top of the Pops (1964-2006) and Jim'll Fix It (1975-1994), both of which were geared towards children and young adults. The flamboyant entertainer was also knighted for his charitable work aimed at helping minors and vulnerable populations. But after his death in 2011, a criminal investigation known as Operation Yewtree confirmed that Savile had sexually abused over 450 children and adults over a 50 year period. Interviews with former colleagues, journalists, and others, combined with archive footage of Savile throughout his career, offer disturbing details about his crimes, and underscore how celebrity worship, social attitudes, and a flawed legal system enabled Savile's alleged predatory behavior for so long.
Is It Any Good?
This disturbing docuseries offers a detailed account of why a man once considered a British national treasure is now regarded as one of Great Britain's most prolific sex offenders. It chronicles Jimmy Savile's entertainment career and seemingly non-stop volunteer work, all of which allegedly allowed him to easily access, groom, and exploit his victims. It also reveals how powerful people, ranging from entertainment industry and charitable leaders, to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and members of the British royal family, were manipulated into ignoring the persistent rumors and behaviors that pointed to his sexual predatory behavior. But Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story relies too heavily on conversations with journalists, many of whom spend time analyzing their interactions with the eccentric entertainer to evidence how he was able to hide in plain sight. It also spends too much time focusing on Savile, and offers limited conversations about those who protected him. Nonetheless, it's a frightening wake up call to societies that idolize and readily give power to celebrities to let them do whatever they want.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the differences between celebrities' public and private lives. Looking back, how different was Savile's public persona from his secret one? How are people who once looked up to him as a positive public figure and role model supposed to make sense of the terrible things he allegedly did?
What messages does Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story send about the ease at which major celebrities can get away with harming others? Who or what is to blame for this?
- Premiere date: April 6, 2022
- Cast: Jimmy Savile, Mark Lawson, Selina Scott
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
True Crime TV for Teens
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate