Steve Coogan (from the Trip movies and the various Alan Partridge projects) has signed on to play disgraced British TV host Jimmy Savile in an upcoming BBC One drama series called The Reckoning. This comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which notes that Savile was “one of the biggest stars of British television,” despite rumors of sexual misconduct that plagued him throughout the later years of his career, hosting various shows for the BBC—which, again, is producing this series about him. When he died in 2011, though, it was revealed that the rumors were true and that Savile had sexually abused possibly as many as “hundreds of child victims” over the years, with the BBC and charitable organizations he had worked with being accused of either ignoring or actively suppressing allegations about his behavior. Executive producer Jeff Pope says the point of The Reckoning will be “to explore how Savile’s offending went unchecked for so long” and will hopefully “ensure such grimes never happen again.” Coogan, who Pope says has a “unique ability” to tackle this kind of character, adds that taking this role on was not a decision he “took lightly,” but he says the story “needs to be told” and that the script handles it all in a sensitive way.
Director Sandra Goldbacher also describes The Reckoning as a chance to give a voice to Savile’s victims, “the people who inspired this project.” A Deadline story also notes that the team behind the show are “working closely with people whose lives were impacted by Savile to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect.” Deadline also notes that the drama series is already controversial based on its subject matter alone, and this casting news—and also everything else about it—surely won’t change that. Neither Deadline or The Hollywood Reporter says when The Reckoning will start to air.