Steve Coogan to play disgraced TV personality Jimmy Savile in new drama

27 September 2021, 15:39 | Updated: 27 September 2021, 15:53

Steve Coogan has been cast to play disgraced TV personality Jimmy Savile in a new BBC drama. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
Steve Coogan has been cast to play disgraced TV personality Jimmy Savile in a new BBC drama. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images). Picture: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

A controversial new series entitled The Reckoning has been commissioned by BBC One and has already drawn criticism.

Steve Coogan has been confirmed to play the disgraced late Jimmy Savile in a new series set for BBC One called The Reckoning.

Talking about his casting, Coogan said: "To play Jimmy Savile was not a decision I took lightly."

The announcement of a television drama series about the DJ and presenter has already been criticised.

The team behind The Reckoning have said they are working closely with those people whose lives were impacted by Savile to make sure that their stories are presented in a sensitive, respectful manner.

Steve Coogan said: "To play Jimmy Savile was not a decision I took lightly." (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
Steve Coogan said: "To play Jimmy Savile was not a decision I took lightly." (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images). Picture: Getty

Talking about his casting in the problematic role, Steve Coogan said: "To play Jimmy Savile was not a decision I took lightly. Neil McKay has written an intelligent script tackling sensitively an horrific story which – however harrowing – needs to be told.”

READ MORE: VIDEO: Steve Coogan picks favourite Manchester song

The controversial new series was announced last October, and comes from Neil McKay and executive producer Jeff Pope.

Sandra Goldbacher will direct all episodes and Clare Shepherd will produce.

The Reckoning will focus on Savile's earlier life and working-class background, his career in the BBC, and how he uses his powerful connections and beloved celebrity status to wave away repeated rumours surrounding his pattern of abuse.

Steve Coogan won numerous plaudits for his performance and adapted screenplay for 'Philomena' (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP via Getty Images)
Steve Coogan won numerous plaudits for his performance and adapted screenplay for 'Philomena' (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP via Getty Images). Picture: Getty

A former BBC Radio 1 DJ, Savile was also a television personality and philanthropist known for his successful programme Jim'll Fix It, becoming one of the biggest stars in Britain throughout the 70s.

He died aged 84 in October 2011, a year before countless allegations of his abusive behaviour - that spanned six decades - came to light.

READ MORE: BBC 'losing talent' such as Phoebe Waller-Bridge in 'red hot' battle with rivals, top boss warns

"The Reckoning is a unique opportunity to give Savile’s survivors, the people who inspired this project, a voice." said director Goldbacher.

"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” she goes on to say.

The programme's producer Jeff Pope added: “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.”

If you or anyone you know has been affected by this story, please seek help from the helplines below:

Living Without Abuse

Tel: 0808 80 200 28

lwa.org.uk

Relate

relate.org.uk

Rape Crisis

Tel:  0808 802 9999

rapecrisis.org.uk

Victim Support:

Tel: 08 08 16 89 111

victimsupport.org.uk

The Samaritans

Tel: 116 123

samaritans.org

Mind

Tel: 0300 123 3393

mind.org.uk

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