Steve Coogan has reaffirmed that the BBC made the “correct choice” in producing a drama about disgraced presenter Jimmy Savile.
The actor, who plays Savile in the upcoming four-part miniseries The Reckoning, addressed the backlash to the series during an interview with the Radio Times.
“It is controversial and I understand that,” Coogan said. “The BBC are damned if they do and damned if they don’t, and I believe the correct choice is to be damned if they do.
“Broadly, it’s better to talk about something than not. The team had the right attitude and it was done with the cooperation of survivors. I think when it’s broadcast, it will vindicate itself.”
First look at ‘THE RECKONING’, starring Steve Coogan as Jimmy Savile.
The series releases later this year. pic.twitter.com/PL3mp5ovc5
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) August 17, 2023
Savile was discovered to have instigated sexual abuse over decades during an investigation following his death in 2011.
The Reckoning will follow Savile through his early years as a DJ in the dance halls of North England, his career with the BBC, and how he used his celebrity and powerful connections to dispel the growing rumours about his personal life.
Coogan previously defended the series last year, where he stressed the importance of portraying figures like Savile.
“I think that’s because Jimmy Savile played a trick on the entire nation so there’s a real feeling of antagonism about it,” Coogan said.
“But you need to look at someone like that to understand how they’re able to operate and to prevent it happening again. If you sweep it under the carpet and don’t talk about it anymore, then those people are destined to come back.”
Other cast members in the series, written by Neil McKay, include Gemma Jones, Robert Emms, Siobhan Finneran and Mark Lewis Jones.
The Reckoning is scheduled to air on the BBC later this year.