A victim of Jimmy Savile has said that Steve Coogan might 'struggle' to portray the 'monster'.
Actor and comedian Coogan – best known for his iconic character, Alan Partridge – is taking on a rather different role altogether, playing infamous paedophile Savile in the upcoming BBC drama The Reckoning.
Savile was a popular radio DJ and TV personality during his life, but following his death in 2011, aged 84, hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse were made against him.
Many of his victims were underage, and he preyed on the vulnerable and used his power to hide in plain sight throughout his career.
Sylvia Edwards was 18 years old when Savile groped her on camera on Top of the Pops in 1976. She has given The Reckoning her backing and spoke to the makers of the show about her experiences; however, she's dubious about whether Coogan will be able to depict Savile's 'sinister side', labelling the Jim'll Fix It presenter 'the most disgusting human being who was ever put on this earth'.
Speaking to Sky News, the 64-year-old said: "I'm hoping (Coogan) portrays it well to make people realise how much of a monster that man was.
"(Coogan) can act the idiot like Jimmy Savile was, but the sinister side I think maybe he might struggle.
"Jimmy Savile has been destroyed anyway... he's going to be remembered as a paedophile forever.
"I hope (Coogan) plays it well... I hope he plays it so that people can actually see how despicable Savile was."
She added that she hopes the show encourages other victims of abuse to speak up.
"It's not going to do (any) good, the man's dead and he should rot in hell for all I care," she said.
"But I hope people come forward... It doesn't matter if they're a celebrity, whatever - come forward and tell somebody.
"Nobody is above the law. Nobody."
The Reckoning is written by Neil McKay, who has previously dramatised the lives of criminals including Stephen Port in Four Lives and Myra Hindley and Ian Brady in See No Evil: The Moors Murders.
However, the upcoming Savile mini-series has attracted controversy since it was announced in 2020, with many feeling it should never have been commissioned.
Former detective Gary Pankhurst – who worked on the investigation into Savile's abuse, Operation Yewtree – has called for the show to be scrapped.
Speaking to Sky News, he said: "To me, it strikes as being entirely tone deaf.
"It doesn't matter how carefully a drama is made, it remains a drama. Ultimately there is no need for it.
"This story is not the BBC's story to tell. They have no right to do that.
"I think it's disrespectful apart from anything else."
But Coogan has repeatedly defended the drama.
Appearing on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch last month, Coogan said he understands people's 'antagonism about the whole idea' but insisted the show is based on an 'intelligent' script and was written 'in consultation with many of Savile's victims'.
The 56-year-old said: "You need to look at someone like that to understand how they're able to operate and to prevent it happening again.
"If you sweep it under the carpet and just don't talk about it anymore, then those people are destined to come back."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: TV and Film