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Steve Coogan Views Bafta Nomination for Jimmy Savile Role as "Vindication"

Image: Steve Coogan as Jimmy Saville - BBC

Renowned TV star Steve Coogan expressed his gratitude for his Bafta nomination, considering it a validation of his decision to take on the challenging role of Jimmy Savile in the BBC drama "The Reckoning".

Coogan is nominated for the leading actor prize at the TV awards for his portrayal of the notorious serial sexual abuser, whose crimes remained concealed until after his death in 2011.

On the red carpet, Coogan shared his appreciation, highlighting the complexities of his role and the initial opposition it faced.

He remarked, “I’m very grateful to be acknowledged by the academy because the role I played was quite a difficult one, it was quite controversial and there was a lot of opposition to it when it was announced."

Acknowledging the risks associated with the portrayal, Coogan emphasized the careful handling required by all involved parties to ensure the legitimacy and sensitivity of the project.

He credited the professionalism of the BBC and his fellow collaborators for navigating the challenges.

Addressing concerns about his casting, Coogan acknowledged the skepticism but asserted his confidence in his ability to tackle the role effectively.

He explained, “I understood some of the consternation about me playing the role of Jimmy Savile... I knew it was a gamble but I thought it was a gamble that would pay off and I think it has."

Coogan also highlighted the importance of involving survivors of Savile's crimes in the project, emphasizing their endorsement as a crucial aspect in legitimizing the endeavor.

He noted, “Because their presence was an endorsement of that process, and gave voice to it and legitimised and made people realise why the programme was being made. It wasn’t just a piece of entertainment, it was about looking deeply at how something like this occurs.”

In light of his Bafta nomination, Coogan views the recognition as a vindication of the careful approach taken by all involved in bringing Savile's story to the screen.

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