Steve Coogan To Play Jimmy Savile In New BBC One Drama

The show's producer said he hopes to "explore how Savile’s offending went unchecked for so long".

Actor and comedian Steve Coogan is to play disgraced entertainer Jimmy Savile in a new BBC One drama.

Mini-series The Reckoning will tell the story of how the disgraced entertainer “rose from working-class origins to become one of the biggest stars of British television”.

It will also focus on Savile’s years of sexual abuse and the impact he had on his victims.

Alan Partridge star Coogan said: “To play Jimmy Savile was not a decision I took lightly. Neil McKay has written an intelligent script tackling sensitively a horrific story which, however harrowing, needs to be told.”

Steve Coogan in February 2020
Steve Coogan in February 2020
Dia Dipasupil via Getty Images

The makers of the programme are “working closely with many people whose lives were impacted by Savile to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect”, the BBC claimed in a statement.

Director Sandra Goldbacher said: “The Reckoning is a unique opportunity to give Savile’s survivors, the people who inspired this project, a voice.

“I feel sure that Steve Coogan’s powerful performance as Savile will create a debate around how the cult of celebrity cloaked him from scrutiny.”

The Reckoning will be produced by Jeff Pope, who previously worked on the true-crime dramas Appropriate Adult and The Moorside.

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.”

Jimmy Savile will be portrayed by Steve Coogan in a new mini-series
Jimmy Savile will be portrayed by Steve Coogan in a new mini-series

Savile died in 2011 aged 84 having never been brought to justice for his crimes.

He is now believed to be one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.

A 2016 report into his abuse found staff at the BBC missed numerous opportunities to stop him.

Help and support:

  • Rape Crisis services for women and girls who have been raped or have experienced sexual violence - 0808 802 9999
  • Survivors UK offers support for men and boys - 0203 598 3898

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