The first images of Steve Coogan’s transformation into Jimmy Savile for an upcoming BBC drama have been shared online.
The eerie photos emerges as filming commences in Bolton town centre.
The 55-year-old comedian and Alan Partridge star looks unrecognisable having been transformed with bright blonde hair and spotted dressed in the disgraced TV and radio presenter’s characteristic jester costume in a break during filming in Bolton.
The town centre’s Le Mans Crescent – which has been a popular filming spot in recent years, with Peaky Blinders, Channel 4’s It’s A Sin, and the currently-airing BBC drama series Ridley Road all making use of the location – is believed to be doubling as Stoke Mandeville Hospital where Savile, who had full access to all parts of the hospital, sexually abused more than 50 people, including an eight-year-old child.
The BBC drama mini-series, titled The Reckoning, will follow Savile through his early years as a DJ in the dance halls of North England, tell the story of how he rose from a working-class background to become one of the biggest stars in television, and the years of sexual abuse and the impact it had on his victims.
As is to be expected, the upcoming show has caused a fair bit of controversy.
Production has been widely slammed, with many hitting out at the BBC in particular, as this was where Savile spent many years of his career before his death in 2011.
“To play Jimmy Savile was not a decision I took lightly. Neil McKay has written an intelligent script tackling sensitively an horrific story which – however harrowing – needs to be told,” Steve Coogan said of his casting to BBC News.
The show’s director Sandra Goldbacher added: “The Reckoning is a unique opportunity to give Savile’s survivors, the people who inspired this project, a voice [and] I feel sure that Steve Coogan’s powerful performance as Savile will create a debate around how the cult of celebrity cloaked him from scrutiny.”
The production team have said that they are working closely with people whose lives were impacted by Savile to ensure that their stories are told with sensitivity and respect.
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TV & Showbiz
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The singer joked that he’d had ‘free Botox and fillers’ after he had an alarming allergic reaction to a bee sting.
Despite his puffy appearance, he saw the funny side, and shared a video of him singing along to Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO.
In the video, 42-year-old Brian is clearly struggling to speak through his swollen lips and tongue.
PrettyLittleThing advert banned for ‘sexualising’ teen TikTok star Alabama Barker
A PrettyLittleThing advert that starred musician Travis Barker’s daughter Alabama has been banned for ‘sexualising’ the 16-year-old.
The content creator, who has almost three million followers on TikTok and is a budding musician in her own right, was named as an ambassador of the fashion brand back in April.
But a campaign that featured the young star has now been banned by the Advertising Standards Agency, who found that the advert ‘depicted a person who was under 18 in a sexual way’.
The ASA said the Alabama Barker campaign was ‘irresponsible’ and ‘highlighted Ms Barker’s young age’ through its promotion of its Y2K collection.
The images used in the PrettyLittleThing campaign include her ‘lying on a bed and licking her lips in a sexually suggestive manner’, crouching down in a way that ‘her buttocks were almost visible’, and ‘spraying a water hose which was positioned between her legs’.
The ruling also noted images where Alabama was sucking a lollipop and clutching her chest.
PrettyLittleThing has now been ordered not to use the advert in its current form, and to ensure ‘future ads did not include images that portrayed or represented anyone who was, or seemed to be, under 18 in a sexual manner’.
They also defended the hosepipe image, saying that ‘cooling down on the lawn on a hot day fitted the intended Y2K aesthetic’, and that open-mouthed poses are ‘currently popular with young people on social media’.