Steve Coogan to play Jimmy Savile | 'An intelligent script tackling sensitively an horrific story' © Thomas Laisne

Steve Coogan to play Jimmy Savile

'An intelligent script tackling sensitively an horrific story'

Steve Coogan is trading Alan Partridge for Jimmy Savile.

The actor and comedian is to play the TV presenter and serial sexual abuser in a new BBC One drama called The Reckoning.

The mini-series is written by Neil McKay, who has has a track record in tackling horrific subjects including This is Personal: The Hunt For The Yorkshire Ripper, See No Evil: The Moors Murders and the Fred and Rose West drama Appropriate Adult.

Coogan said: ‘To play Jimmy Savile was not a decision I took lightly. Neil McKay has written an intelligent script tackling sensitively an horrific story which - however harrowing - needs to be told.’

The executive producer for ITV Studios, Jeff Pope worked with Coogan on Philomena.

He said: ‘The purpose of this drama is to explore how Savile’s offending went unchecked for so long, and in shining a light on this, to ensure such crimes never happen again. 

‘Steve Coogan has a unique ability to inhabit complex characters and will approach this role with the greatest care and integrity.’

Producers say they are working with many people whose lives were affected by Savile ‘to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect’.

Savile used his involvement in multiple organisations, such as hospitals, prisons, charities and the BBC, to conceal his wrongdoings.

Director Sandra Goldbacher said: ‘The Reckoning is a unique opportunity to give Savile's survivors, the people who inspired this project, a voice. 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.’

Published: 26 Sep 2021

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