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09th Oct 2023

BBC to air harrowing Jimmy Savile drama tonight

Joseph Loftus

The Reckoning drops tonight

The series consists of four episodes and stars Steve Coogan as the disgraced entertainer.

According to the BBC, the drama which has been written by Neil McKay, will “trace the life of Jimmy Savile, a man who, for decades, became one of the UK’s most influential celebrities, but in death has become one of the most reviled figures of modern history following revelations of extensive and horrific abuse”.

They added: “Savile used his involvement in multiple organisations, such as the BBC, hospitals, prisons, and charities, to legitimise himself, forging friendships in show business, politics, journalism, the Catholic Church and even the Royal family to cement his position.”

There was backlash when the drama was announced with many arguing that such awful people should not be immortalised in film or television.

Coogan himself responded to the backlash, saying: “It is controversial and I understand that. The BBC are damned if they do and damned if they don’t, and I believe the correct choice is to be damned if they do.

“Broadly, it’s better to talk about something than not. The team had the right attitude and it was done with the cooperation of survivors. I think when it’s broadcast, it will vindicate itself.”

In a press release, the BBC added: “It is important to understand how he was able to hide in plain sight in order to gain a greater understanding of how he evaded justice.

“The drama aims to highlight the importance of confronting the horrors of the past and talking openly about abuse.”

The Reckoning premieres on BBC One and iPlayer on 9 October.

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