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Steve Coogan to play Jimmy Savile in BBC miniseries

Steve Coogan to play Jimmy Savile in BBC miniseries
Steve Coogan is set to play Jimmy Savile in a new BBC miniseries. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Philomena and Stan and Ollie actor Steve Coogan has signed to play disgraced British broadcaster Jimmy Savile in the BBC miniseries, The Reckoning.

"To play Jimmy Savile was not a decision I took lightly. Neil McKay has written an intelligent script tackling sensitively an horrific story which -- however harrowing -- needs to be told," Coogan said in a statement Saturday.

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Savile died in 2011 at the age of 84 and, only after that, did hundreds of people come forward to accuse him of abusing them as children over the course of decades.

In 2012, Savile's family insisted they were stunned by the allegations and had a monument marking his grave destroyed out of their solidarity with the victims.

The BBC said its filmmaking team for The Reckoning is working closely with people whose lives were impacted by Savile to make sure the program is an accurate portrayal of what really happened.

Sandra Goldbacher -- whose credits include Ordeal by Innocence and The Accident -- is directing the project about a man who rose from humble beginnings to be a beloved TV star.

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"The Reckoning is a unique opportunity to give Savile's survivors, the people who inspired this project, a voice," Goldbacher said. "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."

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