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Steve Coogan Explains Why Public Is More Uncomfortable With Savile Series Compared To Other True Crime Shows

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Steve Coogan Explains Why Public Is More Uncomfortable With Savile Series Compared To Other True Crime Shows

Steve Coogan has offered up his take on why the public is more uncomfortable with his upcoming series about Jimmy Savile than other similar true crime shows. Watch here:

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The actor and comedian - best known for his iconic character, Alan Partridge - is taking on a rather different role altogether, playing infamous paedophile Savile in an upcoming BBC drama.

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

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However, the upcoming Savile mini-series has attracted controversy since it was announced in 2020, with many people feeling it should never have been commissioned.

Addressing the backlash on Lorraine, Coogan said: "People like Dominic West played Fred West. Dennis Nilsen was played recently by David Tennant.

"The point is people play these monsters, and there wasn't the same revulsion, and I think partly it's because I'm playing someone who either hoodwinked a nation and groomed a nation, or - if you're being slightly less charitable - the nation enabled him.

"That's why people are uncomfortable about it, but like with all these things, you have to sort of lance the boil by contemplating and looking back and reflecting on why it was allowed to happen, how he was able to do this, and then learn from it. Then you can move on."

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There has been a hostile response to the show among much of the British public. Credit: Alamy
There has been a hostile response to the show among much of the British public. Credit: Alamy

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.

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'.

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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."

When the show was announced, Piers Wenger - the controller of BBC drama - said the aim of the series was to give a voice to Savile's victims.

He said: "The story of Jimmy Savile is one of the most emotive and troubling of our times. We do not intend to sensationalise these crimes but to give voice to his victims.

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"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."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/ITV

Topics: TV and Film, True Crime

Jake Massey
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