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The Reckoning on BBC One: When does it start, who’s in the cast, and how many episodes will it be?

Steve Coogan stars as the serial sex offender

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BBC One drama The Reckoning has already divided the public before it’s even aired – because it’s based on the life of Jimmy Savile.

Some TV fans were appalled when the channel announced it had commissioned a mini-series about the crimes of the serial sex offender.

Many expressed the view that the story does not need to be re-told.

One angry TV viewer tweeted: “Do we really want to be reminded of this evil foul man?”

However, the TV drama is certain to be compelling viewing.

Not least because Oscar-nominated actor Steve Coogan is taking the role of Jimmy Savile.

Here’s everything you need to know about the BBC One Jimmy Savile drama The Reckoning.

Steve Coogan in a suit on red carpet
Actor Steve Coogan will play Jimmy Savile in the BBC One drama The Reckoning (Credit: Monika Skolimowska/picture-alliance/Cover Images)

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What is The Reckoning on BBC One about?

The Reckoning on BBC One is a dramatisation of Jimmy Savile’s life and crimes.

Executive producer Jeff Pope worked on the drama about the disgraced entertainer, who was exposed as a paedophile after his death in 2011.

Jeff said in a statement: “I think this is a story that has to be told.

“We must understand why a man like Jimmy Savile seemed to remain immune for so long to proper scrutiny and criminal investigation.”

Jimmy Savile was one of the biggest stars on British TV, but is now infamous for being a sexual predator.

The BBC drama will examine how he used his involvement in numerous organisations to legitimise his predatory behaviour.

These included charities, hospitals, prisons and the BBC itself.

BBC Drama Controller Piers Wenger commented: “The story of Jimmy Savile is one of the most emotive and troubling of our times.

“We do not intend to sensationalise these crimes but to give voice to his victims.”

How many episodes is Jimmy Savile drama The Reckoning on BBC One?

The Reckoning will be four parts in total.

Each episode will be one hour long.

The series will be available on BBC iPlayer after airing.

Jimmy Savile
Sadly, Jimmy Savile did not pay for his crimes while he was alive (Credit: Ray Tang/Shutterstock)

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When is The Reckoning start date?

The Reckoning is still in production.

The BBC has not yet confirmed a start date for the upcoming drama.

Viewers have good reason to expect it to air later this year or early in 2023.

Who’s in the cast of Jimmy Savile drama The Reckoning on BBC One?

Steve Coogan, 56, portrays Jimmy Savile in the upcoming BBC One drama The Reckoning.

Bizarrely, the Alan Partridge actor previously voiced the Jimmy Savile puppet for Spitting Image in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He has said: “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.”

Gentleman Jack actress Gemma Jones, 79, is reportedly playing Jimmy Savile’s mum Agnes Kelly.

Meanwhile, newcomer Kate Tickle will portray the late Princess of Wales.

As yet, BBC One has not announced any other cast members.

The Reckoning on BBC One star Steve Coogan
Steve Coogan has said he did not take on the role of Jimmy Savile “lightly” (Credit: Nils Jorgensen/Cover Images)

Were Jimmy Savile’s victims consulted on the BBC drama The Reckoning?

BBC Drama Controller Piers Wenger reassured potential viewers that Jimmy’s victims have been consulted about the drama.

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

“Drama has the ability to tackle sensitive real-life subjects and consider the impact of a crime on its survivors and what lessons can be learnt to stop this ever happening again.”

ED! told you last year that the survivors of serial abuser Jimmy Savile met actor Steve Coogan in character on the set of the BBC drama about the late star’s life.

According to writer Neil McKay, some of Savile’s survivors planned to meet Steve on-set dressed as the man who abused them.

He told The Sun: “It’s clearly going to be strange, but they wanted to do it.

“They’re fully prepared, so it will be interesting.

“The victims concerned requested to attend filming since we are telling their stories…”

What other TV shows have focused on Jimmy Savile?

Almost a year after Savile died in October 2011 at the age of 84, ITV aired a documentary focused on the sexual abuse complaints made against him.

Subsequently, hundreds of women came forward to claim he sexually abused them when they were children.

Other victims claimed he subjected them to assaults as adults.

Before that, Jimmy Savile was the focus of a Louis Theroux documentary in 2000.

Speaking last year, the filmmaker admitted he still felt troubled by the “friendly” relationship he had with former Top of the Pops host Savile.

Netflix released Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story earlier this year.

The two-part drama left viewers feeling “revolted”.

Princess Diana with Jimmy Savile
Princess Diana with Jimmy Savile at Stoke Mandeville hospital (Credit: Nils Jorgensen/Shutterstock)

Does Princess Diana feature in The Reckoning on BBC One?

The Duke of Cambridge is reportedly unhappy that his mother Princess Diana is going to be depicted in the new BBC drama about Jimmy Savile.

The drama will recreate Jimmy Savile’s meeting with Diana in 1983.

The pair met at the opening of the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

According to reports made by The Sun, the royal family hoped that the scenes featuring Diana wouldn’t make the final cut of the new four-part drama.

However, it doesn’t look like they’ll be getting their wish.

A source told the newspaper: “Prince William would have preferred not to see his mother feature alongside this vile monster at all.”

Of course, Prince William took issue with the BBC’s Panorama show, which he believed used “deceit” to secure an interview with his mum.

He said: “It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her.”

The Reckoning will air on BBC One sometime in the future.

Will you be tuning in to the BBC One Jimmy Savile drama The Reckoning? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.