Steve Coogan details importance of talking about Jimmy Savile as he defends upcoming BBC drama


‘If you don’t watch it, you’re destined for it to happen again:’ Steve Coogan details importance of talking about Jimmy Savile’s sex crimes as he defends biopic series The Reckoning

Steve Coogan has detailed the importance of discussing Jimmy Savile’s horrific sex crimes in order to see how his pedophile behavior was facilitated.

The 56-year-old actor, who will take on the role of the disgraced former star in upcoming BBC drama The Reckoning, said on Thursday he understands the antagonism towards the show, but thinks its crimes need to be addressed.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he stressed that Jimmy’s sexual offenses must not be ‘swept under the rug’ if we are to prevent it from happening again.

‘If you don’t watch it, you’re destined for it to happen again’: Steve Coogan detailed the importance of discussing Jimmy Savile’s horrific sex crimes in order to see how his pedophile behavior was facilitated.

Jimmy abused a total of 177 patients, ages five to 75, at 41 hospitals. Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire was where his abuse was most prolific.

Steve explained: “People personally feel like they’ve been cheated, the nation craves it, so there’s this feeling of wanting to put it behind us and not talk about it.”

“As a rule, I think it’s better to talk about it. There are short-term gains to sweeping things under the rug because you don’t want to look back.

Shocking: Jimmy abused a total of 177 patients, aged five to 75, at 41 hospitals (pictured in 1970)

Shocking: Jimmy abused a total of 177 patients, aged five to 75, at 41 hospitals (pictured in 1970)

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he stressed that Jimmy's sexual offenses must not be 'swept under the rug' if we are to prevent it from happening again.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he stressed that Jimmy’s sexual offenses must not be ‘swept under the rug’ if we are to prevent it from happening again.

On set: The actor will star as the disgraced former star in upcoming BBC drama The Reckoning (Savile pictured right in 1984)

Disgraced: Jimmy is pictured in 1984

On set: The actor will star as the disgraced former star in upcoming BBC drama The Reckoning (Jimmy pictured right in 1984)

He added: “But you have to look at the whole person to see why it happened and how it was activated and how people facilitated its behavior.”

“By not talking about it, you’re missing the point. If you don’t watch it, you’re destined for these things to happen again.

Speaking about the upcoming series, he explained, “The drama answers the question, which many people have asked, how are you doing?

“The drama answers that question, which is a very important question.”

Speaking: Steve explained:

Speaking: Steve explained: ‘People personally feel like they’ve been cheated, the nation craves it, so there’s this feeling of wanting to put it behind us and not talk about it’

Prevention: He added:

Prevention: He added: ‘But you have to look at the whole person to see why it happened and how it was activated and how people facilitated its behavior’

The Reckoning will trace the disgraced former star’s upbringing, early career and prolific child sex crimes.

The decision to chronicle Jimmy’s life was criticized by many, but the BBC said it worked with its victims and would portray a story “with sensitivity and respect”.

Steve previously explained in a statement that the decision to play Jimmy was not one I took lightly.

Coming soon: The Reckoning will trace the disgraced former star's upbringing, early career and numerous child sex offenses

Coming soon: The Reckoning will trace the disgraced former star’s upbringing, early career and numerous child sex offenses

He added: “Neil McKay has written an intelligent screenplay that sensitively tackles a horrific story that, however heartbreaking, needs to be told.”

BBC Drama’s Piers Wenger Controller added: “The story of Jimmy Savile is one of the most moving and disturbing of our time.”

“We do not intend to sensationalize these crimes but to give a voice to its victims.

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

“Theatre has the ability to tackle sensitive real-life topics and consider the impact of a crime on its survivors and the lessons to be learned to prevent it from happening again.”

Show: The decision to chronicle Jimmy's life was criticized by many, but the BBC said it was working with its victims and would paint a story

Show: The decision to chronicle Jimmy’s life was criticized by many, but the BBC said it worked with its victims and would portray a story “with sensitivity and respect”

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