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The Reckoning viewers praise Steve Coogan’s performance in ‘stomach churning’ Jimmy Savile series

Dominic Smithers

Published 
| Last updated 

The Reckoning viewers praise Steve Coogan’s performance in ‘stomach churning’ Jimmy Savile series

Viewers have praised Steve Coogan for his performance as Jimmy Savile in the new BBC drama.

The Reckoning sees the actor star as the paedophile DJ, who raped and abused countless vulnerable people over decades. Watch the trailer below:

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The long-awaited series starts tonight (9 October), and centres on the disgraced television presenter's crimes, and the devastation he left behind him when he died in 2011.

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The BBC, where Savile worked for many years and carried out a number of his attacks, has come under fire for dramatising the true events.

However, in its synopsis, the broadcaster claimed it was trying to shed a light on the monster.

“Using drama’s unique ability to place events in their emotional and historical context, the series will explore how Savile used his celebrity and powerful connections to conceal his crimes and exploit institutional failings," it said.

Steve Coogan as paedophile Jimmy Savile. Credit: BBC
Steve Coogan as paedophile Jimmy Savile. Credit: BBC
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“It is important to understand how he was able to hide in plain sight in order to gain a greater understanding of how he evaded justice.

“The drama aims to highlight the importance of confronting the horrors of the past and talking openly about abuse.”

Those who've seen it already on iPlayer have heaped praise on Coogan for his performance as the monster.

Taking to X, many said they found it difficult to watch but were blown away by the actor.

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One viewer wrote: "Watched the first episode of The Reckoning. Uncomfortable viewing but necessary, to give an accurate portrayal of Jimmy Savile. Steve Coogan has done a good job."

Praise flooded in for his performance. Credit: X
Praise flooded in for his performance. Credit: X

Another commented: "The Reckoning is a hard watch. Well done to #SteveCoogan for carrying it off."

Some branded his performance as 'excellent'. Credit: X
Some branded his performance as 'excellent'. Credit: X
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"I’ve just watched the first couple of minutes on iPlayer. Stomach churning," added a third. "It’s going to be a hard but important watch. This must never happen again."

While someone else added: "On episode 1 of The Reckoning and very informative and an excellent performance."

Speaking previously about the series, writer Neil McKay said while there are documentaries about the subject, he felt drama allowed a new way into the story.

Savile abused countless people over decades. Credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images
Savile abused countless people over decades. Credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images
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"Anybody who gets involved with making a drama like this, if you’re not kept awake at night, questioning yourself, then in my view you shouldn’t do it," he said.

“There have been some excellent documentaries, but I think drama can do something different.

“Drama can tell a conman story and put you inside the con. That’s what I was trying to get across really.

"What you see is the mechanics of a man who groomed the nation and I think that’s much harder, if not impossible to do in a [documentary].

"My big thing I would say about this drama is that it’s a warning from history. It’s the ultimate cautionary tale about, in many ways, the ultimate groomer."

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: UK News, TV and Film, Jimmy Savile, BBC, True Crime

Dominic Smithers
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