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Steve Coogan pictured as Jimmy Savile during filming for upcoming series

Steve Coogan pictured as Jimmy Savile during filming for upcoming series
Actor says decision to play disgraced former TV host was not one he ‘took lightly’

Steve Coogan has been pictured dressed as Jimmy Savile for the first time on set for the upcoming BBC drama, The Reckoning.

The mini-series, which will focus on Savile’s long history of sexual abuse, began filming last Friday in Manchester.

Coogan said his decision to play the disgraced Top of the Pops hospedeiro, who it emerged after his death was a prolific paedophile and sex offender, was not one he “took lightly”.

He said in a statement: “Neil McKay has written an intelligent script tackling sensitively a horrific story which, however harrowing, needs to be told.”

The 55-year-old actor, known for his role as Alan Partridge, was spotted dressed as a jester while wearing a blonde wig while filming for the series in Bolton, Grande Manchester.

Director Sandra Goldbacher said: “The Reckoning is a unique opportunity to give Savile’s survivors, the people who inspired this project, a voice.

“I feel sure that Steve Coogan’s powerful performance as Savile will create a debate around how the cult of celebrity cloaked him from scrutiny.”

The BBC’s decision to commission this series has come under scrutiny from some who accused the corporation of hypocrisy.

BBC shows Jim’ll Fix It e Top of the Pops allowed Savile close contact with children for years, while it later emerged senior figures in the corporation had heard stories about his abuse, but were unwilling to act.

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Dentro 2011, immediately after Savile’s death, two Newsnight reporters began to investigate the stories of abuse, interviewing victims, BBC employees and a former police detective. Their report was scheduled for broadcast in December 2011, but was cancelled on the basis that it would interfere with the shows planned to celebrate Savile over the Christmas period.

Contudo, Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, said the producers will “work with survivors to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect”.

Ele disse: “The story of Jimmy Savile is one of the most emotive and troubling of our times. We do not intend to sensationalise these crimes but to give voice to his victims.

“We will work with survivors to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect and to examine the institutions which Jimmy Savile was associated with and the circumstances in which these crimes took place.

“Drama has the ability to tackle sensitive real life subjects and consider the impact of a crime on its survivors and what lessons can be learnt to stop this ever happening again.”