Jimmy Savile's nephew slams BBC for ‘turning blind eye’ to his activities but ‘glorifying’ them in Steve Coogan show
JIMMY Savile's nephew has torn into the BBC for "glorifying" the paedophile in a harrowing new drama.
Guy Marsden, 67, has accused the broadcaster of "turning a blind eye" to the disgraced TV and radio star's sinister activities in The Reckoning, which stars Steve Coogan as the lead.
The gritty series will follow Savile's working class childhood, his rise to fame, and his ultimate downfall.
But Guy has slammed producers for profiting from the predatory presenter's crimes.
He said: "I was stunned when I heard about the BBC programme as none of his family were ever consulted about it as far as I know.
"I can’t believe the organisation, which turned a blind eye to his activities for all those years, is now profiting, ultimately from glorifying his story.
"No doubt they’ll be selling the programme around the world for huge profits.
"They shouldn’t be making it."
Savile was exposed as a paedophile in 2012 and was later branded one of the UK's most prolific known sexual predators.
He is believed to have abused as many as 1,000 victims during his horrifying campaign.
Victims have told how the former Top of the Pops host raped or molested them in his BBC dressing room.
Others have said they were abused by the entertainer when he visited schools, children's homes and hospitals under the cover of his prolific charity work.
Guy said: "The BBC says it will be portraying Savile’s victims in an accurate and sympathetic light, but have they spoken to any of them to ask their opinion?
"I doubt the programme will point the finger at their own shocking failings."
Coogan, famed for his portrayal of Alan Partridge, said taking on the role of Savile was "not a decision I took lightly".
The 56-year-old, who was pictured for the first time since being transformed into the DJ earlier this month, added: "Neil McKay has written an intelligent script tackling sensitively a horrific story which, however harrowing, needs to be told."
Guy said: "Even Coogan himself said he had to think twice before accepting the part but then decided it was a story that needed to be told.
“No doubt a large cheque helped.
“Everyone knows the Savile story, why does it need to be told? All it does is open old wounds."
'DISTASTEFUL AND DISTRESSING'
Guy thinks it best if Savile's story is "wiped from history" – just like his North Yorkshire grave which had the headstone removed after his crimes came to light.
"This programme should never be broadcast in respect to his victims," he added.
The Reckoning executive producer Jeff Pope said when the programme was announced: "Its purpose 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 has a unique ability to inhabit complex characters and will approach this role with the greatest care and integrity."
A BBC spokesperson added: "He rose from working-class origins to become one of the biggest stars of British television — but in death has become one of the most reviled figures of modern history.
"The drama will examine the impact his appalling crimes had on his victims and the powerlessness many felt when they tried to raise the alarm."
Filming for the series began in October 2021, but no release date has yet been announced.
Coogan has been spotted in character while on set in Greater Manchester, most recently being snapped jogging while portraying the early days of the sex attacker.
Everyone knows the Savile story, why does it need to be told? All it does is open old wounds.
Guy's comments follow previous backlash from several of Savile's victims who compared the new drama to "being abused again".
One said: "The idea of making a drama out of Savile's life, for the purpose of entertainment, is so distasteful and distressing.
"I hold the BBC partly responsible for my abuse – many people knew what was going on and did nothing to stop it.
"To find out the same organisation is now planning to use these events to gain ratings is unacceptable. It's almost like being abused again."
Jim'll Fix It star Savile died on October 29, 2011, two days before his 85th birthday.
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