SIR Jimmy Savile spoke of his pride yesterday after being awarded the freedom of the borough of Scarborough.

The 79-year-old veteran DJ and entertainer said it was a "great, great honour" to be granted the award.

He has had a home in Scarborough for the past 40 years and has helped raise thousands of pounds for local charities.

Sir Jimmy was given the honour at a ceremony in Scarborough Town Hall yesterday afternoon.

Also granted the freedom of the borough were Chris Wilby, executive director of the YMCA in Scarborough for more than 30 years, and former mayors Liz Mackenzie and Alderman Bernard Bosomworth.

Their status means they will receive VIP invitations to events staged by the council - but it no longer entitles them to graze any sheep they might own in the town centre.

Sir Jimmy said: "It's quite tremendous to be awarded the freedom of the borough.

"I've been living here for 40 years, but I first came to Scarborough as a babe in arms in 1928, carried by my mother.

"Scarborough is one of my very best friends and that is what I feel when I look at the town, the people and the sea."

A spokesman for Scarborough Borough Council said: "This is the highest honour the council can award.

"Sir Jimmy Savile has been a great ambassador for the area. He supports a lot of good causes in the area through his fund-raising."

When asked what it meant to him to be made a freeman of the town, Sir Jimmy said: "In my case, it means that as from 10.30am on Monday, I will have to behave in Scarborough, which I have never done before.

"Maybe there's a book I could buy, or else I'll make it up as I go along."