Steve Coogan to play Jimmy Savile in 'sensitive' drama 1 month ago

Steve Coogan to play Jimmy Savile in 'sensitive' drama

Coogan described the decision to play Jimmy Savile as not one he "took lightly."

Steve Coogan will take on the role of Jimmy Savile in a new BBC drama series looking at how the entertainer and presenter spent decades living as one of the country's most notorious paedophiles.

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The mini-series will be entitled The Reckoning and will "trace Savile through his early years in the dance halls of northern England, his career with the BBC, to his twilight years when he sought to dispel the growing rumours about his life and the legacy he would leave behind."

The BBC said as part of Saturday's announcement that the team behind the series had worked closely with those impacted by Savile in order to ensure their stories were told with "sensitivity and respect."

Savile, who was one of the biggest names on television throughout the 70s and 80s when he hosted shows such as Top of the Pops and Jim'll Fix It, passed away in 2011.

It was not until a year after his death in October 2011 that an ITV documentary entitled Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile unveiled claims of sexual abuse against the late-media personality, leading to more allegations of abuse and a number of public inquiries.

These found that he had used his position at the BBC and involvement in charities to prey on hundreds of people.

Coogan said that whilst the decision to take on the role was not one he "took lightly," the show was an "intelligent" one which sensitively tackles a story that "needs to be told."

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Executive producer Jeff Pope said: "The purpose of this drama is to explore how Savile’s offending went unchecked for so long, and in shining a light on this, to ensure such crimes never happen again. Steve Coogan has a unique ability to inhabit complex characters and will approach this role with the greatest care and integrity."

The series' director, Sandra Goldbacher, described it as a "unique opportunity to give Savile's survivors, the people who inspired this project, a voice."

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