Steve Coogan, the actor and comedian, is set to take on the role of Leeds-born presenter Jimmy Savile in the BBC Drama The Reckoning. The show will tell the tale of Savile’s rise to fame and look at how he covered up his horrifying crimes using his fame.
Coogan appeared on Channel 4 show Sunday Brunch this weekend, where he explained that his decision to play Savile was one he hadn’t taken ‘lightly’, and said the drama is needed ‘to prevent it happening again’.
Whilst being interviewed by Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer, he said he felt the drama would play an ‘important role’ and explained: “I think that’s because Jimmy Savile played a trick on the entire nation so there’s a real feeling of antagonism about it.
“But you need to look at someone like that to understand how they’re able to operate and to prevent it happening again.”
He spoke about the process saying he met with Savile’s victims and the script was written in consultation with ‘many of the victims of Jimmy Savile.
He said: “I’d go and talk to them as myself and go ‘Hi, I’m Steve, I’m not Jimmy Savile, that’s who I’m going to play today’.
“And you’re playing a role and we’re going to do it professionally, and it was so that they knew that I was someone else. So it was a tightrope, but I think we did it properly.”
The BBC’s executive producer of the drama, Jeff Pope, defended the show previously highlighting that the role of Savile is being approached with the ‘greatest care and integrity.’
Last year he said in a statement: “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.”
Feature Image Credit: Channel 4