The supposed Jimmy Saville / Paul Merton TV show transcript is doing the rounds again. Here’s some news from 2000:
Paul Merton is always a man to push the televisual boundaries of libel laws as far as they will stretch but the transcript went a lot further than anything you would have seen on the show. The trouble is – according to sources – a huge chunk of the middle section of the email is fabricated.
we decided it would be fun to stick some obviously fake stuff on the site, just to see whether or not people would actually question it. Part of the site’s remit was to get comedy fans questioning the media, refusing to accept everything at face value, etc.
Faking some HIGNFY out-takes was originally going to be part of that initial plan. We probably decided on it after watching the ‘Unbroadcastable Have I Got News…’ video (which itself features rushes material), but mainly because we enjoy the idea of rushes per se. The original idea was to stick the page on the site in Hidden Archive and see if anyone noticed/cared. Emergency Lalla Ward went off and wrote the actual page – based on a tape of the broadcast itself (if you watch the show in tandem with the fakery you’ll note that he’s specifically ‘filled in’ stuff where there was an obvious edit-point).