However, it has now been confirmed Coogan, 55, will play the paedophile who died in 2011.
What’s Steve Coogan said about his casting as Jimmy Savile?
Coogan, perhaps best known for playing Alan Partridge, previously voiced a Savile puppet for Spitting Image in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
He explained: “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.”
Executive producer Jee Pope added: “The purpose of this drama is to explore how Savile’s offending went unchecked for so long. And in shining a light on this, to ensure such crimes never happen again.
“Steve Coogan has a unique ability to inhabit complex characters. [He] will approach this role with the greatest care and integrity.”
How have people reacted on Twitter?
Many of those tweeting about the latest casting news today (September 26) were not very happy about the drama being produced.
One person reflected: “I am aware that Steve Coogan does a very convincing Jimmy Savile impression, but I wouldn’t want to actually watch it. The Spitting Image DVDs will suffice.”
They later followed up their thoughts by considering how broad Coogan may play the role.
“I know he’s done serious roles, but Savile’s too much of a ‘character’ and I fear Coogan’s performance might come off comic,” the continued.
“Too reminiscent of past comedy characters he’s played. Hopefully I’ll be proved wrong, time will tell.”
However, they still maintained it would not be a show they want to watch.
“It’ll doubtless be responsibly handled, I suppose, but just no,” they concluded.
This story does not need to be told.
Others concurred that a dramatisation of Savile’s life and vile crimes would not be one they would consider fit for TV.
“Do we really want to be reminded of this evil foul man?” tweeted another person.
Someone else seethed: “What on earth are the BBC thinking? This story does not need to be told.”
They went on to claim: “Don’t care how it’s handled, it’s just a shock story to get ratings. Disgraceful.”
And a third person added: “And this is what the BBC call entertainment?”
TV licence fury
Several users also linked their horror about the matter to paying their licence fee. Some posts also included hashtags relating to “defunding” the BBC.
“Just why?” one incredulous person wrote, directing their tweet to a BBC account.
“This is why I no longer have a BBC TV licence.”
Someone else echoed that thought, claiming: “This is sick, but typical of you.
“Why would anyone want to watch anything about Savile?
“So glad I’m one of the millions that have cancelled my TV licence.”
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