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The Reckoning - First Look and Cast Details of BBC Jimmy Savile Drama

17 Aug 2023

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Press Release
Further details and casting have been announced for The Reckoning, the forthcoming factual drama from the award-winning team of writer Neil McKay and executive producer Jeff Pope (Four Lives, The Moorside, Appropriate Adult). Made by ITV Studios for the BBC, The Reckoning will be broadcast this autumn on BBC One and iPlayer.

The four-part series will trace the life of Jimmy Savile, a man who, for decades, became one of the UK’s most influential celebrities, but in death has become one of the most reviled figures of modern history following revelations of extensive and horrific abuse. Savile used his involvement in multiple organisations, such as the BBC, hospitals, prisons, and charities, to legitimise himself, forging friendships in showbusiness, politics, journalism, the Catholic Church and even the Royal family to cement his position.

Using drama’s unique ability to place events in their emotional and historical context, the series will explore how Savile used his celebrity and powerful connections to conceal his crimes and exploit institutional failings. It is important to understand how he was able to hide in plain sight in order to gain a greater understanding of how he evaded justice. The drama aims to highlight the importance of confronting the horrors of the past and talking openly about abuse.

The team have worked closely with many people whose lives were impacted by Savile to ensure their experiences are told and reflected with sensitivity and respect, and the drama will also draw on extensive, wide-ranging research and published accounts. It will examine the impact his appalling crimes had on his victims, and the powerlessness many felt when they tried to raise the alarm.

Four survivors of Savile who have contributed to The Reckoning will also feature in the series, interviewed on camera to offer their further insight and to reflect on their experiences in the hope that the telling of their stories will prevent something like it happening again.

As previously announced, the multi-award winning actor Steve Coogan (Stephen, Philomena, Stan and Ollie) will portray Savile in the series. The drama’s cast will also include the BAFTA-winner Gemma Jones (Marvellous, Gentleman Jack), Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley, Time), Mark Lewis Jones (Outlander, Chernobyl) and Mark Stanley (Happy Valley, White House Farm).

The Reckoning (4x60’) is written by Neil McKay (Four Lives, Appropriate Adult, The Moorside, Mo, See No Evil), and executive producers are Jeff Pope (Four Lives, Appropriate Adult, The Moorside, Mrs Biggs, Mo) and Neil McKay for ITV Studios, and Lucy Richer (The Sixth Commandment, Time) for the BBC. It was directed by Sandra Goldbacher (Ordeal by Innocence, The Accident), with Clare Shepherd (The A Word, Bancroft) as producer.