Jimmy Savile declared his "love" for Margaret Thatcher in a hand-written letter after being invited to lunch with her, newly released records show.

But the star, then an OBE, claimed to have waited a week before writing to the prime minister to avoid appearing "too effusive".

In what will now appear to be chilling references, Savile refers in the letter to the excitement of his "girl patients" and "paralyzed (sic) lads" at Stoke Mandeville Hospital following his lunch with Mrs Thatcher in 1980.

The letter is among a series of previously secret files released to the National Archives in Kew, west London, and show the former Top Of The Pops presenter's communications with the prime minister as he tried to enlist support for his work to renovate Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

The DJ, awarded a knighthood in 1990 for charitable services, received widespread praise for his work with the hospital in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. But it has since emerged to be one of a series of places where Savile preyed on vulnerable people, abusing them over decades.

An ITV documentary aired on October 4 prompted hundreds of people across the country to come forward about the abuse they say they suffered at Savile's hands. Before the revelations the late DJ was hailed by many as a hero for his seemingly tireless charitable work.

In his letter to Mrs Thatcher the star spoke of the reaction of his "girl patients" and "paralyzed lads" to his lunch date with her.

It reads: "Dear Prime Minister. I waited a week before writing to thank you for my lunch invitation because I had such a superb time I didn't want to be too effusive. My girl patients pretended to be madly jealous + wanted to know what you wore + what you ate. All the paralyzed lads called me 'Sir James' all week.

"They all love you. Me too!! Jimmy Savile OBE xxx."

The previously unseen documents reveal Savile's regular communications with Mrs Thatcher and Number 10, including his request for a Government contribution to Stoke Mandeville.