The Reckoning: Jimmy Savile victims to visit set of controversial BBC drama and meet Steve Coogan in costume

Writer Neil McKay said a number of Savile’s victims had requested to see miniseries being filmed

Isobel Lewis
Monday 27 December 2021 13:47 GMT
BBC apology to Savile victims

A number of Jimmy Savile’s victims have requested to visit the set of a controversial BBC drama in which Steve Coogan plays the paedophile TV presenter.

In September, it was announced that the Alan Partridge star would play the late Top of the Pops host in The Reckoning, a miniseries exploring how Savile was able to commit his crimes unchecked for decades.

News of the series was met with outrage on social media, where many argued that it was exploitative and disrespectful to the hundreds of people who came forwards with stories of abuse by Savile after his death.

However, speaking to The Sun, writer Neil McKay said that some of Savile’s victims have asked to attend filming and meet Coogan while he is dressed as the paedophile on set.

“It’s clearly going to be strange. But they wanted to do it, they’re fully prepared, so it will be interesting,” McKay said, adding that he also invited the families of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady’s victims to watch his 2016 ITV drama about the Moors murderers being filmed.

“[Savile’s] victims concerned requested to attend filming since we are telling their stories, and all appropriate safeguarding measures were put in place by production to facilitate this.”

When the series was first announced, producers said that they were working with many people whose lives were affected by Savile “to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect”.

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

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here

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