New details have been announced for the BBC’s upcoming Jimmy Savile drama.
The Reckoning is being made by Neil McKay and Jeff Pope, the award winning team behind acclaimed Shannon Matthews drama The Moorside and Fred West drama Appropriate Adult.
The official synopsis reads: “The mini-series will trace the life of Jimmy Savile, a man who rose from working-class origins to become one of the biggest stars of British television, but in death has become one of the most reviled figures of modern history following revelations of extensive and horrific abuse.
“The story will trace Savile through his early years in the dance halls of northern England, his career with the BBC, to his twilight years when he sought to dispel the growing rumours about his life and the legacy he would leave behind…
“Savile 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 his celebrity and powerful connections to conceal his wrongdoings and to hide in plain sight.”
Award-winning actor Steve Coogan, best known for his dramatic roles in Philomena and Stan & Ollie, has been cast as Jimmy Savile.
The 55-year-old English actor most recently appeared in ITV’s acclaimed Stephen Lawrence drama Stephen.
Coogan commented: “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.”
Executive producer Jeff Pope added: “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.”
The BBC has promised that “the team are working closely with many people whose lives were impacted by Savile to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect, and the drama will also draw on extensive and wide-ranging research sources.”
The Reckoning will “examine the impact his appalling crimes had on his victims and the powerlessness many felt when they tried to raise the alarm.”
Directed by Sandra Goldbacher (Ordeal by Innocence, The Accident), the mini-series is expected to begin filming in England soon.
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.”
The Reckoning will air in 2022 on BBC One in the UK.