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Everything The Reckoning series made up about Jimmy Savile

Everything The Reckoning series made up about Jimmy Savile

The series sticks quite close to the truth but some things did change

Viewers have been sickened by the depiction of the crimes of Jimmy Savile in The Reckoning while reserving plenty of praise for Steve Coogan's performance.

Those who've watched it have found it to be 'horrifying', with people tuning in shocked at how much of what made it into the drama happened pretty much just as the series showed.

Coogan plays a truly sinister Savile and The Reckoning features accounts from survivors of Savile's abuse who helped make it as accurate as possible.

However, there were some things The Reckoning showed which didn't really happen, though they were often similar to the disturbing truth.

The Reckoning doesn't shy away from this, telling viewers right from the beginning that 'some names have been changed and scenes created for dramatic purposes'.

Only a handful of things you see in the series didn't actually happen in quite the way they were portrayed.

How much does The Reckoning make up about Jimmy Savile? Very little.

The father-son dynamic between Savile and Ray Teret:

In The Reckoning one of the first characters are introduced to is Savile's support DJ and chauffeur Ray Teret (Robert Emms).

The show portrays them as having a disturbing father-son dynamic, with Savile at one point forcing Teret to call him 'father'.

Much of what happened on screen during The Reckoning is true to life but the father-son dynamic between Savile and Teret was an invention for the series.

In 1999 Teret was found guilty of raping a 15-year-old, and was arrested again in 2012 and in 2014 was accused of more than 30 counts of sexual abuse, including 18 charges of rape.

Some of the charges dated back to the 1960s and he was sentenced to 25 years in prison, dying behind bars in 2021.

Steve Coogan plays Jimmy Savile in The Reckoning.

The 'horrifying' hospital scene:

Viewers of The Reckoning believe it to be one of the most disturbing scenes in the series, but the moment where Savile dresses as a clown to prey on a young girl in Leeds General Infirmary was created for the show.

Savile undoubtedly preyed upon patients in hospitals but the exact scene of him dressed in a clown costume was created by the show to represent this.

While the events you see on screen are not exactly what transpired in real life they are an attempt to show viewers the kind of things that were happening.

The Reckoning producer Jeff Pope told the Radio Times why they had created scenes: "People will obviously ask, 'Why are there invented sequences?'

"And the answer is that there are hundreds of Savile victims, most of whom can’t be publicly identified. But by combing through the hundreds of stories, you see a pattern."

Show writer Neil McKay said they were trying to show how 'the mechanics of Savile's con worked' in various institutions.

While this scene didn't happen exactly like this in reality it represents the abuse Savile inflicted upon people in hospitals.

Savile's mum didn't make a confession about him:

Among the other scenes created for dramatic purposes was when Savile's mother Agnes (Gemma Jones) attended confession to say she didn't really love him.

We don't know if this ever happened in real life as confession is supposed to be a secret but in the scene Savile's mother says she's worried there is 'some terrible darkness in him'.

The scene appears to have been created to portray the strange relationship between Savile and his mother.

The Sunday People published a previously unaired interview that had been done just months before Savile died where the paedophile said his mother 'never trusted me' and 'never got around to being proud' of him.

While some scenes were created for dramatic purposes The Reckoning is largely as accurate as it is disturbing.

Savile didn't call Dan Davies 'wordsmith':

The framing device for The Reckoning is Savile's interviews with Dan Davies (played by Mark Stanley in the show) towards the end of his life.

While Savile didn't call the real Davies 'wordsmith' or 'Dr Wordsmith' as the portrayal in The Reckoning did, much about their interactions is close to the truth.

Davies first interviewed Savile in 2004, but later on the interviews were for a book with their final conversation a year before the paedophile died.

He wanted to break through what he saw as the 'impenetrable façade' he believed Savile had up, and hoped to have another interview with Savile where he could confront him with what others he had interviewed had said.

While he said the story told by The Reckoning had 'amplified aspects of the relationship' and 'altered certain facts and timelines in the name of a cohesive drama', Davies considered it to still be the one he told in his book In Plain Sight, which was a major source for the series.

The Reckoning is framed as a series of interviews Dan Davies did with Savile.

Peter Jaconelli didn't ask Savile for help:

The Reckoning shows Savile's friendship with ice-cream seller and Scarborough mayor Peter Jaconelli (Peter Wight), where the two of them know about each other's crimes.

There's a scene in the series where Jaconelli is facing criminal charges and asks for Savile's help, only to be rejected.

However, in reality Jaconelli was able to avoid many charges which would have been brought against him had he still been alive when the investigations concluded.

According to the Yorkshire Post, Jaconelli was charged with indecent assault in 1972, but records do not show whether he was prosecuted or whether charges were dropped.

Jaconelli died in 1999 and an investigation from North Yorkshire Police found he would have faced other charges relating to a string of incidents between 1958 and 1998 had he still been alive.

The Reckoning is available to watch in four parts on BBC iPlayer now.

Featured Image Credit: BBC/CA/Redferns/Getty

Topics: BBC, Jimmy Savile, TV and Film, Celebrity