Victims of Jimmy Savile will visit the set of upcoming drama The Reckoning and meet Steve Coogan who is portraying the paedophile, writer Neil McKay has said.
The BBC miniseries, which has attracted much controversy, will explore how Savile’s abuse went on unchecked for decades while he worked as a presenter and charity fundraiser.
Savile died in 2011 at the age of 84 with reports on his serial sexual abuse being made public after his death.
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McKay explained in a new interview with Radio Times how some survivors of the Top of the Pops host wanted to attend filming and that safeguarding measures had been established.
“It’s clearly going to be strange,” he said. “But they wanted to do it, they’re fully prepared, so it will be interesting,”
“[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.”
He added that Coogan would be in costume, stating: “They’ve done eight different looks for him to age him from 1960 to 2011. I think they’ll get quite an old Savile.”
McKay has also shared that it took “a year” to convince Coogan to take on the challenging role.
News of his casting was made public in September. Coogan said in a statement at the time: “To play Jimmy Savile was not a decision I took lightly.
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“Neil McKay has written an intelligent script tackling sensitively a horrific story which, however harrowing, needs to be told.”
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Responding to backlash about the series, BBC’s controller of drama commissioning Piers Wenger said the primary intention of the programme was to “give voice to the victims and to tell their stories sensitively”.
The Reckoning is set to air in 2022.