PRINCE Charles has led tributes to “larger than life” veteran DJ and broadcaster Sir Jimmy Savile, who has died at his home in Leeds, aged 84.
The star, who presented the first episode of Top Of The Pops as well as his long-running show Jim’ll Fix It, was found at his home in Roundhay, Leeds, yesterday - just two days before his 85th birthday.
His death came after a spell in hospital earlier this month with a suspected bout of pneumonia.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall led the tributes to the star.
A Clarence House spokeswoman said: “The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were saddened to hear of Jimmy Savile’s death and their thoughts are with his family at this time.”
It is not yet known how Sir Jimmy died but it is believed there were no suspicious circumstances.
Known for his trademark catchphrases, tracksuits and tinted glasses, friends and colleagues described Sir Jimmy as a “larger than life” character who was dedicated to charity work.
He started his working life as a miner in his native Yorkshire before running a series of clubs and working as a wrestler and DJ.
He has raised millions for charity and for many years was a regular marathon runner in support of good causes.
Radio presenter David Hamilton said Sir Jimmy worked “tirelessly” to raise funds for various causes.
“He was a very energetic character,” Mr Hamilton told Sky News.
“But most of all, I remember him as just a totally flamboyant, over the top, larger than life character and as he was on the air, he was just the same off.”
Sir Jimmy raised £20 million for the creation of the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, in 1983 following damage caused by severe weather to the old pre-fab wooden huts which had housed spinal cord injury patients.
He was a volunteer at the hospital and ran more than 200 marathons for various charitable organisations.
Two of Sir Jimmy’s nephews said their uncle died peacefully in his sleep on Friday night.
Roger Foster and Ian McKenna paid tribute to Sir Jimmy outside his flat.
Mr Foster said: “It is with deep sadness that I can tell you that our uncle Sir Jimmy Savile passed away quietly in his sleep during the night.
“Jimmy was a wonderful man, his public face is well-known but we knew him as much more than an uncle, he was a very good friend.
“Jimmy will be sadly missed by very many people.
“We would like to thank the people who have already offered their condolences.”
Celebrities paid tribute on Twitter.
Classical singer Katherine Jenkins said: “Sad news Jimmy Savile has passed away. My sis & I always wanted a Jim’ll Fix it badge/medal. Loved that show. Great memories #RIPJimmySavile.”
Apprentice star Lord Sugar tweeted: “Sad news on the death of Jimmy Savile very funny man and did loads of work for charity, RIP.”
Former deputy Labour leader Lord Prescott tweeted: “Sad to hear of Jimmy Savile’s death. Tireless fundraiser and a real character. #nowthennowthen.”
Former radio colleague Tony Blackburn said Sir Jimmy was a “big, over the top personality”.
“He was quite a character,” Mr Blackburn told Sky News.
“I think he will be best remembered for his charity work, and you know those tracksuits he always used to wear, and he was just an unusual person.
“He was a one-off - that’s the way he’ll be remembered, really - but in particular all that money he raised for charity.”