| Date Published: October 16, 2012 |
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|Cruise Line Cancels Tribute to Sir Jimmy Savile|
(6:30 a.m. EDT) -- Cunard has scuppered plans for a memorial sail-by for disgraced celebrity Jimmy Savile.
A spokesperson for the line said in the wake of a child abuse sex scandal, the cruise "would clearly not be appropriate."
The Cunard tribute had been planned for a 12-night round-Britain sailing onboard Queen Elizabeth departing Southampton on July 29, 2013, called 'Voyage Q317D - Around the British Isles from Hamburg' on the line's Web site. Originally, the liner was set to sail past Scarborough, where Savile was buried, at 3:00 p.m. (BST) on August 1, 2013.
Savile, who died a year ago, sailed with Cunard on a number of occasions. Notably, he travelled onboard the Queen Elizabeth on its first voyage around Britain in September 2011, the month before he died, and attended the ceremony when the Queen named the ship in 2010.
In January 2011, when plans were made for the memorial tribute, a Cunard spokeswoman described Savile as "a true friend of Cunard," according to the BBC.
Savile enjoyed complimentary cruises onboard both Cunard and P&O Cruises for many years. It has been claimed he was kicked off P&O's Canberra in Gibraltar by the captain who heard claims he abused a 14-year-old girl, according to a report in the Mirror.
Best known for his television programme 'Jim'll Fix It,' Savile has been the subject of numerous allegations of child abuse following the airing of an ITV documentary on October 3 of this year.
Since the programme was broadcast, several of Savile's alleged victims have contacted police forces across the U.K., and police are now leading an inquiry into the abuse claims. Savile's family members also had his tombstone removed from the Woodlands Cemetery in Scarborough to "respect public opinion."
In May, a former Cunard crewmember, Paul Trotter, was sentenced to four years in prison for sexual assaults against children. The offences took place between November 2007 and August 2011 when Trotter worked in Cunard's ‘Play Zone' children's clubs onboard Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria. The abuse came to light in August 2011 following a tip-off to the police.
--by Jamey Bergman, U.K. Production Editor
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