Henley Standard Property
HOME

Date:

Order your copy Advertise with us! HENLEY PAGES
Delivering the news from Henley on Thames and South Oxfordshire for over 100 years
  News     Sport    Celebrity   What's On Regulars Community Info Henley Standard TV Lifestyle Property Jobs Classifieds Gallery Trade
                               Follow us    Follow us    Newsfeed Search the Henley Standard  
Vince Hill struggling with Harris verdict
Published 02/07/14



VINCE HILL says he is struggling to believe that his old friend Rolf Harris is a paedophile.

The evergreen singer, who lives in Shiplake, was speaking after the Australian entertainer was convicted of 12 counts of indecent assault on four girls in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties.

Harris, 84, of Bray, Berkshire, was convicted on Monday at Southwark Crown Court following a six-week trial.

One of his victims was a childhood friend of his daughter and another an autograph hunter aged seven or eight.

An emotional Mr Hill, 80, said Harris would “always be his friend”.

He has known him for 50 years and appeared as a guest on The Rolf Harris Show in the Sixties.

Mr Hill said: “I can’t believe it but I have to. In all the 50 years I’ve known him, and this doesn’t come just from me but other people in the business, there was never a whisper of any scandal at all. It’s unbelievable really.

“It’s just such a hard blow to take. You never expect anything like that after 50 years.”

Mr Hill said he was “utterly surprised” at the guilty verdicts, adding: “When the news came through on all 12 counts Annie, my wife, burst into tears and so did I.

“We absolutely broke up, we’re in bits about it.

“He will always be Rolf to me no matter what has happened. I’ll always be his friend and we’ll always be friends of the family.” The singer said he sympathised with the victims but he would support the entertainer’s family as best he could, adding: “They are still lovely people as far as I’m concerned.

“As far as Rolf and ourselves and the family are concerned, I’ll always be his mate.”

Prosecutors said Harris was a “Jekyll and Hyde” character who took advantage of his fame but Mr Hill said he had never seen anything to make him suspicious.

“I think of the good times we used to have when Rolf would come over and we would get on the piano and everybody would be singing,” said Mr Hill.

He said Harris “loved” Indian food and recalled when the pair went for a meal together at the Spice Merchant in Thames Side, Henley.

Sometimes, he would make his friend a curry at home or they would order a takeaway.

Mr Hill recalled how Harris had visited folk musician Ted Egan during a tour of Arnhem Land in Australia in the Sixties and Egan sang him Two Little Boys, which he then recorded. Back in Britain, Harris visited Mr Hill at his then home in Roehampton with a reel-to-reel tape recorder to get a second opinion.

The singer said: “As soon as he played it I said, ‘record it’. It was a smash and the rest is history, as they say.”

The song went to number one in 1969 and spent six weeks at the top of the charts.

Harris will be sentenced on Friday. Mr Hill said: “I’m just hoping he’ll get a suspended sentence or something like that. Whatever happens, his career is over now.

“I shudder to think how Rolf will cope with prison. I will hopefully speak to him some time this week.”


Published 02/07/14

MOST POPULAR
Exciting Literary Festival programme planned
Henley rocks at Music on the Meadows
Primary celebrates 70th anniversary
One-of-a-kind play area opens in Henley
Henley Rowing Club’s GB junior eight triumph
Local philanthropist causes feminist stir
Businesswoman quits to curry favour
Rush hour accident closes Reading Road
LATEST NEWS HEADLINES
Rush hour accident closes Reading Road
Director of music becomes student at Yale
Successful Summer Ball for Cricket Club
Star sorry for Twitter job jibe
Ahoy there! Youngsters try out toddler park
Could park and ride solve traffic woes?
More housing sites needed
Lights out event to remember fallen
Couple sentenced for growing cannabis
Hand of friendship extended across channel
Football club counts cost of traveller invasion
Key ceremony marks 350 years of town hall history
Latest Video View more from   Henley Standard TV
ADVERTISE WITH US
LATEST SPORTS HEADLINES
Clarke qualifies for Commonwealth Games final
Woods in seventh heaven as visitors grab win
Hogan misses out
Hard-hitting Latter leads Nettlebed to victory
Valley Road students claim podium finish
Top Videos
 
Most Popular
 
 
 
 
Higgs Group
HIGGS GROUP
Tel: 01491 419400
www.higgsgroup.co.uk
HENLEY PAGES
Tel: 01491 419419
www.henleypages.com
HIGGS PRINTING & DESIGN
Tel: 01491 419429
www.higgsprinting.co.uk
HIGGS OFFICE SUPPLIES
Tel: 01491 419499
www.higgsofficesupplies.co.uk
HENLEY LIFE MAGAZINE
Tel: 01491 419449
www.henleylife.co.uk
HIGGS GROUP, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1AD.

Cookie Policy | Copyright and Terms | Competition Rules | Contact Us | Advertise with us | Site Map
© Higgs & Co (Printers) Limited 2013  |  Registered in England number 1418717