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Jimmy Savile's actual abuse survivors will appear in new Steve Coogan series

Jimmy Savile's actual abuse survivors will appear in new Steve Coogan series

The Reckoning will air on BBC One this weekend

The new BBC Jimmy Savile series is set to arrive on screens this weekend.

The Reckoning has been the source of quite a bit of controversy since it was first announced.

You can check out the trailer here:

Steve Coogan plays the disgraced star in the BBC drama which 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’.

The broadcaster 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.”

Not only will the series be a dramatisation of Savile’s crimes, but the four episodes will also feature some of the actual abuse survivors.

Each one will be bookended by interviews with four people who were assaulted by the children’s TV presenter.

Steve Coogan plays Jimmy Savile in The Reckoning.
BBC

According to the Radio Times, producer Jeff Pope says this was always part of The Reckoning.

He said: “The real victims were in there from the first draft. We taped their interviews and then Neil used some of their words in the scripts. Later, we re-interviewed them on camera. But they were always there as a concept."

Pope explained further into the making of the series: “On all these dramas we don’t even begin to do anything until we’ve spoken to people who experienced the crimes and we sense that we have a consensus to proceed."

Those who have been interviewed on the show have waived their lifelong legal anonymity which is given to victims of sex crimes.

While some people argue it’s just too soon to be creating this kind of fictional work about such an evil person, others are excited to see how Coogan approaches the role.

And one woman who was sexually abused by Savile at the age of 11 has had her say on the series.

Savile abused countless young women and girls over decades.
Michael Putland/Getty Images

Sam Brown was assaulted by the presenter in the presbytery of Stoke Mandeville Hospital chapel.

The now 56-year-old contributed to The Reckoning and appeared in it, before recently attending a screening.

And while she was severely anxious at the thought of seeing her story, and that of her abuser, played out on-screen, Ms Brown said it was 'therapeutic'.

She explained: “I was dreading it and the funny thing was, when we watched it, it was really hard to believe it was me. But I felt so sorry for that little girl. My heart broke for that little girl.

“But I had a week and finally I accepted the fact that she was me and I was her.”

Featured Image Credit: BBC / Netflix

Topics: Jimmy Savile, TV and Film, BBC