Dear YEP, can we fix it for anything in Leeds to be named after Sir Jimmy Savile?

Down at the Yorkshire Evening Post they’re having a bit of trouble with a web poll they’ve organised to find out how people would like Jimmy Savile to be commemorated.

A nice bit of fun, you’d think. And not a bad way to gauge local people’s feelings.

The poll was launched on Tuesday. Readers could choose from a number of options, among them: renaming a hospital ward, a memorial in Roundhay Park, renaming Leeds-Bradford airport…or naming the Arena that’s under construction in the, erm, Arena Quarter of Leeds after him.

No contest.

Here at the leeds citizen we put our vote in for the Jimmy Savile Arena and urged all our twitter followers (Max and Tilly Saville-Rowe of Chapel Allerton) to do the same.

This morning we checked back to see how the poll was going…and the Arena had mysteriously been removed!

Has someone from SMG-Europe, the arena’s operators, had a quiet word with the Yorkshire Evening Post?: “Listen pal, this is OUR arena and we’ll name it after whoever we like…or whoever comes up with the best sponsorship offer.”

I think we should be told*.

Sir Jimmy Savile Airport?

Undaunted, we voted again this morning, this time for the idea that’s in the lead in the poll – to rename Leeds and Bradford Airport.

It appealed to us because we’d written to Sir Jim once asking him if he could fix it for a taxi rank to be built there for less than a million quid.

But wait! What’s that that the airport’s commercial director was telling the Yorkshire Evening Post on Monday, the day before the poll was launched?

“When the airport was sold a few years ago the name became part of the agreement of the purchase so we cannot change it.”


We’re off to vote again, this time for the hospital ward.

What’s that? The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has sold off the rights to ward-naming?


* it turns out that the Yorkshire Evening Post weren’t threatened with legal action by SMG-Europe after all. Editor Paul Napier explains:

Easy mistake to make with those publicly-funded, privately-run organisations!


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3 Responses to Dear YEP, can we fix it for anything in Leeds to be named after Sir Jimmy Savile?

  1. Simon Cooke says:

    The Airport has to have the name Bradford in it 🙂

    Why not more ambitious – rename Leeds as Saville City!

  2. Good plan. Then my pals from the city could fly into Savile-Bradford airport for a night out at the Savile Smirnoff Arena. Sorted.

  3. Sorry, but the airport will be Alan Bennett International just as soon as I get off my arse and start a campaign. How about a nice hospital ward or wing or something? Or maybe they could re-open Ratner’s on Vicar Lane and call it Jingle Jangles.

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