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Steve Coogan Cast To Play Jimmy Savile In New BBC One Drama

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Steve Coogan Cast To Play Jimmy Savile In New BBC One Drama

Steve Coogan will play paedophile DJ Jimmy Savile in a new BBC One Drama, it has been announced.

The Reckoning has been written by Neil McKay (See No Evil: The Moors Murders) and will centre on the former Top of The Pops presenter and how he was able to commit his heinous crimes for decades without being caught.

His crimes only came to light after his death in 2011, when hundreds of survivors bravely came forward to share their stories about the abuses they suffered at his hands.

Speaking about the mini-series, producers said they are working with those directly affected to make sure the story is told with "sensitivity and respect"

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Coogan said it wasn't an easy role to take on but that he felt he needed to.

He said in a statement: "To play Jimmy Savile was not a decision I took lightly.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"Neil McKay has written an intelligent script tackling sensitively a horrific story which, however harrowing, needs to be told."

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Director Sandra Goldbacher said it is about giving a voice to the survivors.

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

"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."

Over the course of his career, which saw him get knighted in 1990, Savile was able to act with impunity, with the survivors having no one to turn to.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

In 2016, an independent investigation found that the BBC missed opportunities to stop Savile's 'monstrous' abuse as there was a 'culture of fear'.

In a statement last year announcing the drama, the BBC said: "Savile, an eccentric showman, the youngest of seven siblings, used his involvement in multiple organisations, such as hospitals, prisons, charities and the BBC, to legitimise himself.

"The drama will explore the way he used smoke and mirrors to conceal his wrongdoings."

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BBC drama controller Piers Wenger said the new series does 'not intend to sensationalise these crimes', but instead to 'give voice to his victims'.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Wenger said: "We will work with survivors to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect and to examine the institutions which Jimmy Savile was associated with and the circumstances in which these crimes took place.

"Drama has the ability to tackle sensitive real-life subjects and consider the impact of a crime on its survivors and what lessons can be learnt to stop this ever happening again."

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Executive producer Jeff Pope added that it is 'a story that has to be told', adding: "We must understand why a man like Jimmy Savile seemed to remain immune for so long to proper scrutiny and criminal investigation."

As of yet, no release date has been announced for The Reckoning.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Drama, UK News, Entertainment, BBC, Series, crime, UK Entertainment

Dominic Smithers
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