Steve Coogan has been cast to play disgraced presenter Jimmy Savile in the upcoming new BBC One drama The Reckoning.
The controversial series, which was first announced in October last year, will follow beast Savile through his early years as a DJ in the dance halls of North England, his career with the BBC, right up to his twilight years and how he used his celebrity and powerful connections to dispel the growing rumours about his personal life and hide in plain sight.
The BBC said the team behind the drama had worked closely with those impacted by Savile to ensure their stories were told with “sensitivity and respect”.
Alan Partridge’s Coogan said he had not taken the decision to play Savile “lightly”.
Via BBC News, Coogan said of his casting:
“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 former Radio 1 DJ rose from working-class origins to become one of the biggest stars of British television, including as host of the hit TV show Jim’ll Fix It.
He died in October 2011 aged 84, a year before allegations of his abusive behaviour – which included sexually abusing hundreds of young people over six decades – were broadcast in Mark Williams-Thomas’ ITV documentary Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile.
The Reckoning comes from Neil McKay and executive producer Jeff Pope (The Moorside) and is produced by ITV Studios. Sandra Goldbacher (Ordeal by Innocence) will direct all episodes and Clare Shepherd will produce.
The team said they are working closely with people whose lives were impacted by Savile to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect.
The Reckoning will be written by McKay, who was also behind Appropriate Adult – the Bafta-winning drama about Fred West which stars The Wire’s Dominic West as the serial killer.
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