BBC 'tackling controversial Savile drama with extra caution after backlash'

An upcoming drama around the disgraced Jimmy Savile starring Steve Coogan is being treated with extreme caution after victim backlash and a reported planned air date close to the coronation.

The BBC is allegedly being extremely careful with the series as victims of the former TV star have had a ‘fierce response’ to the series.

Four-part series The Reckoning stars Coogan as the disgraced DJ, who died in 2011 aged 84 before his prolific crimes as a child sex abuser and sex offender came to light.

More than 450 horrifying allegations were brought forward to the police following his death.

The planned drama has been hit with criticism since it was first announced, being branded as ‘disgusting,’ with Alan Partridge star Coogan defending the series by arguing it was ‘better to talk about it than to not talk about it.’

Now BBC bosses are reportedly concerned they can’t ‘put a foot wrong’ due to victims’ responses and the planned air date being close to the coronation.

According to The Sun, the timing of the original air date was considered an issue as the series touches on Savile’s friendship with then-Prince Charles.

A source told the outlet that there has been ‘a fierce response from victims’ in the three years since the drama was first announced.

‘Most dramas don’t take this long to edit and air, but they don’t want to put a foot wrong,’ they said.

It was found that Savile had used the BBC and his status as a celebrity to find his victims, having hosted shows including Jim’ll Fix It and Top of the Pops.

When approached for comment by, a BBC spokesperson said: ‘We are currently in post-production for transmission later this year. An exact date will be announced in due course.’

Star Coogan previously defended the series in an interview with Lorraine Kelly, insisting that ‘people are held accountable, including the BBC’, adding that there’s ‘no whitewash in this drama,’ which he dubbed ‘informative and educational.’

The BBC had come under fire for dramatising his horrific crimes and has been accused of ‘hypocrisy’ considering Savile’s past with the broadcaster.

Piers Wenger, controller of the BBC drama, said in October 2022 that they ‘do not intend to sensationalise these crimes but to give voice to his victims’.

On why the BBC wanted to tell the story, executive producer Jeff Pope explained: ‘We must understand why a man like Jimmy Savile seemed to remain immune for so long to proper scrutiny and criminal investigation.’ has reached out to the BBC and reps for Coogan for comment

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