Sex Pistol's Johnny Rotten claims BBC banned him over Savile remarks
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Sex Pistol's Johnny Rotten claims BBC banned him over Savile remarks

JOHN Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, has claimed that he was banned from the BBC after speaking out against Jimmy Savile.

On Piers Morgan's Life Stories, the  Sex Pistols front man said that during a 1978 interview he claimed Savile was “into all sorts of seediness. We all know about it but we’re not allowed to talk about it. I know some rumours.”

Lydon said to Morgan: “Weren’t [sic] I right? I think most kids wanted to go on Top of the Pops but we all knew what that cigar muncher was up to.”

But because of the remarks he was, he claims, banned from further appearances on the BBC.

Lydon told Piers Morgan: “I’m very, very bitter that the likes of Savile and the rest of them were allowed to continue. I did my bit, I said what I had to. But they didn’t air that.”

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He added: “I found myself banned from BBC radio for quite a while, for my contentious behaviour. They wouldn’t state this directly; there’d be other excuses.”

Lydon also told Piers Morgan where his nickname had come from — apparently it was a reference to his poor dental health, from his band mate in the Sex Pistols, Steve Jones.

"Bad teeth," he said. "In my childhood, the only time I saw a toothbrush used was my dad cleaning boots. There was bits missing, in my teeth, all cracked up, I'd avoid the dentist."

The Sex Pistols were formed in 1975 and are credited with kick-starting the entire punk movement. Before the ban over the Savile comments, the band had already achieved notoriety for one television appearance — on  Thames Television's Today show.

The expletive-filled interview with Bill Grundy — during which the band swore at the presenter, calling him “a dirty old f*****” — effectively ended Grundy's career, but helped boost the Sex Pistols’ notoriety.

In 1977 their single God Save the Queen was banned from the BBC airwaves.

Lydon was born in north London to Irish parents, and as a child spent his summer holidays in Co. Cork, his mother's home. He continues to travel on an Irish passport.

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In an interview in 2004 the singer revealed that, along with his wife Nora, he had been booked on Pan Am flight 103 which blew up over Lockerbie in 1988.

But the couple missed the flight because Nora took too long packing.

Piers Morgan's Life Stories: John Lydon airs on ITV at 9pm on Friday, September 25.