Steve Coogan hits back at critics over Jimmy Savile drama

The actor is set to play the disgraced DJ in The Reckoning

Steve Coogan has defended the BBC's upcoming drama, The Reckoning, which tells the story of sexual predator and disgraced television personality Jimmy Savile. 

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Appearing on Lorraine Kelly's morning show on Wednesday, the actor said that while some may be "uncomfortable" with the drama being commissioned, he feels as though it's important to reflect on "why" the abuse happened.  

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WATCH: Steve Coogan defends the BBC's Jimmy Savile drama

"I'm playing someone who either hoodwinked a nation or groomed a nation or if you're being slightly less charitable, the nation enabled him and that is why people, I think, are uncomfortable about it," he explained.

"But, like with all these things, you have to sort of lance the boil by contemplating and looking back and reflecting on why it was allowed to happen and why he was able to do this. 

He went on to say: "There's no whitewashing this drama. I think it does actually do those three things, it is informative, it is educational and does it entertain? Well, it's a fascinating subject whichever way you look at it. It's not dull but it is something that's important." 

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The comedian is set to play the late radio DJ in the series, which dramatises Jimmy's rise to fame, from his childhood years in northern England right up until his death and when his scandal was uncovered. 

Steve appeared on Lorraine Kelly's show on Wednesday

The official BBC 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."

It adds: "The drama will explore the way he used his celebrity and powerful connections to conceal his wrongdoings and to hide in plain sight."

Head of BBC drama, Piers Wenger, previously responded to criticism of the broadcaster's decision to commission the series. "I mean, it is a decade since Jimmy Savile died, it will be a decade next year since his behaviours first came into the public eye," he said at a press event in October last year. 

Steve is set to play Jimmy Savile in the upcoming BBC drama

"But, you know, our primary intention with the drama is to give voice to the victims - to tell their stories sensitively and with the utmost respect. And we have an amazing, award-winning team who are renowned for their factual drama.

"And I think there are still many important questions that need to be answered about Savile, and many questions that we are asking of ourselves through that drama. So I think it's incredibly important that the BBC, you know, do tell that story."

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