Jimmy Savile drama The Reckoning starring Steve Coogan to air later this year, BBC confirms

The BBC has confirmed that The Reckoning, a high-profile drama about the life and crimes of Jimmy Savile, will air later this year despite reports of delays.

The series stars Steve Coogan as the Top of the Pops presenter and infamous paedophile, whose prolific, decades-long history of child sexual abuse came to light in 2012, roughly a year after his death.

Due to its sensitive subject matter, the series, which is being produced by ITV Studios for the BBC, has provoked some controversy since its initial announcement.

The Reckoning was first announced by the BBC back in 2020, with filming taking place the following year.

It had originally been expected to air late last year, but the BBC is still yet to confirm a transmission date.

In a statement, a BBC spokesperson said: “We are currently in post-production for transmission later this year. An exact date will be announced in due course.”

A report in The Sun claimed that the airing of the programme has been “pushed back”, with the BBC allegedly concerned about a backlash amid the forthcoming coronation of King Charles III.

However, The Independent understands that the royal’s depiction in the series is minimal and the coronation did not factor into the BBC’s decision-making.

Writing for The Independent last year, Oliver Keens argued: “The Reckoning has the potential to be more disastrous than Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross reading The Satanic Verses during the interval of Jerry Springer: The Opera.

“But as you’ll see, I trust the people involved and their track record, I think they’re currently doing the right things by the victims of Savile and I also hope and expect the BBC take this huge opportunity to redeem themselves and show us that the phrase ‘lessons have been learnt’ isn’t just jargon.”