On the 20th April, 2013, I wrote a post entitled: 'Rolf a perv? I just don't buy it.'
Well, following yesterday's guilty verdict on twelve counts of indecent assault, it looks like I'll have to buy it after all. Hence a large helping of humble pie for supper tonight.
I will not deny that I am shocked by this verdict. I really did believe (or, perhaps, more accurately, really wanted to believe) that the claims against the Aussie kangaroo-tier-down were spurious and, perhaps because this world makes cynics of us all, probably motivated by the prospect of compensation and media-money for the victim's 'story' - but that no longer seem to be the case. Old Rolf's been found guilty and, possibly, may spend the rest of his life behind bars.
So where does this leave us?
Well, from a personal perspective, it leaves me wondering whether Rolf and Stuart Hall and Jimmy Savile (whose names must only now be whispered in sombre tones accompanied by a disapproving shake of the head) should all now face a new charge:
1. Wilful destruction of memories of happier, more innocent days.
On this count I suggest all of these 'gentlemen' are guilty because I, like millions of others who grew up with Jim'll Fix It, Rolf's Cartoon Time and It's a Knockout, will no longer be able to look back on the television of their childhood without those fond memories being tainted by the realisation that behind the smiles and the laughter of the programmes' stars and presenters, there was a dark unpleasantness and a growing catalogue of victims.
It also leaves me wondering if there are actually any TV personalities from the seventies and eighties who weren't going around kiddy-fiddling or grooming young girls to be sexual playthings - how many others still have such skeletons in their proverbial cupboards? I know they weren't all pervs, but the growing list of guilty verdicts does make you wonder - how many more?
ps - Remember that portrait that Rolf did of the Queen recently?
Here's one for the caption contest...