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Steve Coogan defends new Jimmy Savile biopic as he recalls other actors not getting much 'revulsion'


Steve Coogan has once again spoken out in defence of the new Jimmy Savile biopic as he noted that other actors didn’t receive as much ‘revulsion’ for playing ‘monsters’ on screen.

The actor, 56, plays the role of the disgraced former star in the upcoming drama The Reckoning, which will trace the disgraced Jimmy’s upbringing, his early career and prolific child sex offences.

And speaking on Wednesday’s Lorraine, Steve compared his part to those of David Tennant, who played Muswell Hill Murderer Dennis Nilsen and Dominic West, who portrayed serial killer and rapist Fred West on screen, as he stated they didn’t get as much backlash.    

Speaking out: Steve Coogan has once again spoken out in defence of the new Jimmy Savile biopic as he noted that other actors didn't receive as much 'revulsion' for playing 'monsters' on screen

Speaking out: Steve Coogan has once again spoken out in defence of the new Jimmy Savile biopic as he noted that other actors didn’t receive as much ‘revulsion’ for playing ‘monsters’ on screen

When asked if he hesitated to take on the role, Steve said: ‘I certainly understand the revulsion people have for it, natural revulsion, but I think with all difficult subject matter it better to talk about it than to not talk about it.’

He added: ‘People like Dominic West played Fred West. Dennis Nilsen was played recently by David Tennant. People play these monsters, and there wasn’t the same revulsion. ‘

David took on the role of serial killer Nilsen in an ITV three-part miniseries called Des in 2020.

While Dominic stared as rapist West in ITV real life drama Appropriate Adult back in 2011.  

Role: The actor, 56, plays the role of the disgraced former star [pictured in 1970] in the upcoming drama The Reckoning, which will trace the disgraced Jimmy's upbringing, his early career and prolific child sex offences

Role: The actor, 56, plays the role of the disgraced former star [pictured in 1970] in the upcoming drama The Reckoning, which will trace the disgraced Jimmy’s upbringing, his early career and prolific child sex offences

Meanwhile, Steve continued of the Jimmy Savile drama: ‘I think it’s because its someone who hoodwinked a nation and groomed a nation, or if you’re being slightly less charitable, the nation enabled him. 

‘And that is why people are uncomfortable about it. Like with all these things, you have to lance the boil by contemplating and looking back and reflecting on why he was able to do it and learn from it and then you can move on.’

The Alan Partridge star went on to say: ‘Victims cooperated and many visited the set, and many of them understood the need to look at it. 

Defence: speaking on Wednesday's Lorraine, Steve compared his part to those of David Tennant, who played Muswell Hill Murderer Dennis Nilsen and Dominic West, who portrayed serial killer and rapist Fred West on screen, as he stated they didn't get as much backlash

Defence: speaking on Wednesday’s Lorraine, Steve compared his part to those of David Tennant, who played Muswell Hill Murderer Dennis Nilsen and Dominic West, who portrayed serial killer and rapist Fred West on screen, as he stated they didn’t get as much backlash

Portrayal: David took on the role of serial killer Nilsen in an ITV three-part miniseries called Des in 2020

Killer: Dennis, known as the Muswell Hill Murderer Nilsen killed 12 men between 1978 and 1983

Portrayal: David took on the role of serial killer Nilsen in an ITV three-part miniseries called Des in 2020

Actor: While Dominic stared as rapist West in ITV real life drama Appropriate Adult back in 2011

Monster: Fred West and his wife Rose tortured, raped and murdered 12 young women and girls at their house of horrors at 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester and buried many of the victims under the house or in the garden

Actor: While Dominic stared as rapist West in ITV real life drama Appropriate Adult back in 2011

‘People are held accountable, including the BBC, and it is informative, educational and does it entertain? well its a fascinating subject. It’s important.’

Last month Steve detailed the importance of discussing Jimmy Savile’s horrendous sex offences in order to see how his paedophilic behaviour was facilitated. 

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, he emphasised that Jimmy’s sex offences must not be ‘swept under the carpet’ if we are to prevent it from happening again. 

Jimmy abused 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. 

Thoughts: Meanwhile, Steve continued of the Jimmy Savile drama: 'I think it's because its someone who hoodwinked a nation and groomed a nation, or if you're being slightly less charitable, the nation enabled him

Thoughts: Meanwhile, Steve continued of the Jimmy Savile drama: ‘I think it’s because its someone who hoodwinked a nation and groomed a nation, or if you’re being slightly less charitable, the nation enabled him

Changes: Coogan previously explained in a statement the decision to play Savile was not one 'I took lightly' (pictured in character)

Vile: Savile is pictured presenting Thank Your Lucky Stars in the 1960s

Changes: Changes: Coogan previously explained in a statement the decision to play Savile was not one ‘I took lightly’ (pictured left in character, Savile is seen right in the 60s) 

Speaking out: 'That is why people are uncomfortable about it. Like with all these things, you have to lance the boil by contemplating and looking back and reflecting on why he was able to do it and learn from it and then you can move on'

Speaking out: ‘That is why people are uncomfortable about it. Like with all these things, you have to lance the boil by contemplating and looking back and reflecting on why he was able to do it and learn from it and then you can move on’

Disgraced: Savile is pictured in 1984

Controversy: The Reckoning will trace the disgraced former star’s upbringing, his early career and prolific child sex offences (Savile pictured in 1984)

Steve explained: ‘People feel personally like they were hoodwinked, the nation feels like it, so there’s this feeling of wanting to put it behind us and not talk about it.

‘As a rule, I think it is better to talk about it. There is some short term gains of sweeping things under the carpet because you don’t want to look back.’

He added: ‘But you need to look at the whole person to see why this happened and how he was enabled and how people facilitated his behaviour. 

‘By not talking about it you don’t get to the nub of it. If you don’t look at it you are destined for those things to happen again.’

Speaking about the upcoming series he reasoned: ‘Drama answers the question, which a lot of people asked, which is how do you get away with it?’ 

‘The drama answers that question, which is a very important question.’ 

Chat: Last month Steve detailed the importance of discussing Jimmy Savile 's horrendous sex offences in order to see how his paedophilic behaviour was facilitated

Chat: Last month Steve detailed the importance of discussing Jimmy Savile ‘s horrendous sex offences in order to see how his paedophilic behaviour was facilitated 

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