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Steve Coogan films his first scenes of the year as sexual predator Jimmy Savile


Steve Coogan returned to work on Wednesday morning as work resumed on a controversial new drama documenting the life and death of posthumously disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile

The actor takes a starring role as Savile, who died aged 84 in 2011 before his decades of sexual abuse against women and children was exposed, in forthcoming BBC series The Reckoning. 

And he was back in character while filming his first scenes of the year outside Leeds General Infirmary in West Yorkshire, where Savile’s victims ranged in age from five to 75 and included adults and children of both sexes. 

Back on set: Steve Coogan returned to work on Wednesday morning as work resumed on a controversial new drama documenting the life and death of posthumously disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile

Pictured: Jimmy Savile in 1968

Back on set: Steve Coogan returned to work on Wednesday morning as work resumed on a controversial new drama documenting the life and death of posthumously disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile

Coogan will play Savile at key points throughout his life, starting from his humble beginnings as a pirate radio DJ in his native Leeds. 

His latest scenes are understood to take place in 1963, during the disgraced star’s decade long stint as a disc jockey at Radio Luxembourg and long before his commercial fame on hit TV shows Top Of The Pops and Jim’ll Fix It. 

A damning report detailed Savile’s decades of abuse across the NHS and how management turned a blind eye because of his fame and the amount of cash he raised for charity.

Hiding in plain sight: Savile visits his brother Vince, who was treated at Leeds Infirmary to remove a brain tumour in August 1984. The pair are joined by Sister Margaret Lloyd

Hiding in plain sight: Savile visits his brother Vince, who was treated at Leeds Infirmary to remove a brain tumour in August 1984. The pair are joined by Sister Margaret Lloyd

Back in time: Coogan's latest scenes are understood to take place in 1963, during the disgraced star's decade long stint as a disc jockey at Radio Luxembourg and long before his commercial fame on hit TV shows Top Of The Pops and Jim'll Fix It

Pictured: Steve Coogan

Back in time: Coogan’s latest scenes are understood to take place in 1963, during the disgraced star’s decade long stint as a disc jockey at Radio Luxembourg and long before his commercial fame on hit TV shows Top Of The Pops and Jim’ll Fix It

Here we go: A pensive looking Savile, played by Coogan, was seen emerging from his car and making his way into the hospital during Wednesday's location shoot

Here we go: A pensive looking Savile, played by Coogan, was seen emerging from his car and making his way into the hospital during Wednesday’s location shoot 

Victims included a young girl raped 10 times when she visited the hospital where her parents worked. The investigation found that none of the complaints were ‘either taken seriously or escalated to senior management’.

He went onto abuse a total of 177 patients, aged between five and 75, across 41 hospitals. Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire was where his abuse was most prolific.

The decision to chronicle Savile’s life has come under fire from many, however BBC has stated that they worked with his victims and will portray a story ‘with sensitivity and respect’.

Controversy: Savile was given access to nurses accommodation at the hospital (pictured: Leeds General Infirmary in 2012)

Controversy: Savile was given access to nurses accommodation at the hospital (pictured: Leeds General Infirmary in 2012)

Uncanny: Coogan's prosthetic chin gave him the late presenter's jutting, angular features as he filmed his scenes

Uncanny: Coogan’s prosthetic chin gave him the late presenter’s jutting, angular features as he filmed his scenes 

Authentic: The actor's look was completed with a blonde wig and period clothes befitting the scene's early '60s setting

Pictured: Steve Coogan

Authentic: The actor’s look was completed with a blonde wig and period clothes befitting the scene’s early ’60s setting 

Emergency: An old fashion ambulance was seen parked next to the entrance as Coogan pulled a coat on between takes

Emergency: An old fashion ambulance was seen parked next to the entrance as Coogan pulled a coat on between takes 

Coogan, who famously portrays fictional comedic character Alan Partridge, previously explained in a statement the decision to play Savile was not one ‘I took lightly’.

He added: ‘Neil McKay has written an intelligent script tackling sensitively a horrific story which, however harrowing, needs to be told.’

Savile, who rose from a humble working-class upbringing to become one of British television’s biggest stars, passed away aged 84 in 2011. 

Well wrapped: On a chilly day the actor stayed warm  in a thick winter coat as he waited for his next scene

Well wrapped: On a chilly day the actor stayed warm  in a thick winter coat as he waited for his next scene

In his final years, he fought to quell growing speculation about his illegal exploits throughout his illustrious career with the BBC – with victim testimony expected to be brought to life in the new drama.

A BBC-led inquiry into his actions found he had molested at least 72 children, some as young as eight, over a four decade campaign of sexual abuse with his first victim in 1959 and his last in 2006 

His horrific reign of abuse could be charted ‘in the corridors, canteens, staircases and dressing rooms of every BBC premises’, their 2016 report found.

In good company: Coogan was joined by an assistant as work continued on The Reckoning in the north of England

Pictured: Steve Coogan

In good company: Coogan was joined by an assistant as work continued on The Reckoning in the north of England 

Difficult decision: The actor, who famously portrays fictional comedic character Alan Partridge, previously explained in a statement the decision to play Savile was not one 'I took lightly'

Difficult decision: The actor, who famously portrays fictional comedic character Alan Partridge, previously explained in a statement the decision to play Savile was not one ‘I took lightly’

Executive producer, Jeff Pope, said: ‘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.

‘Steve has a unique ability to inhabit complex characters and will approach this role with the greatest care and integrity.’

The BBC also says it will draw on ‘extensive and wide-ranging research sources’ or the project, examining the lasting impact of Savile’s crimes and the ‘powerlessness’ his victims felt.

Coming soon: A release date has yet to be announced with filming for the series expected to continue taking place in Manchester over the coming months

Pictured: Jimmy Savile presenting Top Of The Pops in his red tracksuit, circa 1973

Coming soon:  A release date has yet to be announced with filming for the series expected to continue taking place in Manchester over the coming months

Double take: Coogan has been seen in a variety of outfits and sporting a number of different hairstyles as he documents Savile at various points throughout his life

Pictured: Jimmy Savile in his blue shell suit outside Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, March 1987

Double take: Coogan has been seen in a variety of outfits and sporting a number of different hairstyles as he documents Savile at various points throughout his life

Old times: Savile wore the tracksuit during his meeting with the late Diana, Princess of Wales at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1987

Old times: Savile wore the tracksuit during his meeting with the late Diana, Princess of Wales at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1987

Piers Wenger Controller, of BBC Drama, added: ‘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.

‘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.’

A release date has yet to be announced with filming for the series expected to continue taking place in Manchester over the coming months.

Hidden in plain sight: Savile was a much loved public figure in life, but he would be exposed as a serial sexual predator following his death in 2011. Here he is pictured at the Wren House International Telephone Exchange in 1975

Hidden in plain sight: Savile was a much loved public figure in life, but he would be exposed as a serial sexual predator following his death in 2011. Here he is pictured at the Wren House International Telephone Exchange in 1975



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