*Warning: This article contains discussions of sexual abuse that some may find distressing.*


New BBC series The Reckoning dramatises the crimes of disgraced television personality Jimmy Savile, and to do so, each of the four episodes are bookended by interviews with four people who were assaulted by Savile.

The assaults these individuals suffered are dramatised in the series, and producer Jeff Pope has clarified that, contrary to a report, the interviews were always part of the show.

A report in The Sun had suggested these were added after the BBC ordered the interviews be included, but Pope said: "The real victims were in there from the first draft. We taped their interviews and then Neil used some of their words in the scripts. Later, we re-interviewed them on camera. But they were always there as a concept."

Pope explained: "On all these dramas we don’t even begin to do anything until we’ve spoken to people who experienced the crimes and we sense that we have a consensus to proceed."

The individuals who are interviewed have waived the lifelong legal anonymity offered to those who have been victims of sex crimes.

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Pope explained this isn't the case with most of Savile's victims, explaining the need for composite characters and invented sequences.

He said: "People will obviously ask: ‘Why are there invented sequences?’ And the answer is that there are hundreds of Savile victims, most of whom can’t be publicly identified. But by combing through the hundreds of stories, you see a pattern."

The drama stars Steve Coogan as Savile, while the supporting cast includes Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley), Gemma Jones (Gentleman Jack), Mark Stanley (The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe), Robert Emms (Andor) and Mark Lewis Jones (Gangs of London).

The Reckoning premieres on BBC One and iPlayer on Monday 9th October 2023. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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