Steve Coogan expected 'antipathy' over Savile role but says it's important story to look at

Steve Coogan attending the Greed European Premiere as part of the BFI London Film Festival 2019 held at the Odeon Luxe, Leicester Square in London.
Steve Coogan will play Jimmy Savile. (PA)

Steve Coogan has admitted he wasn't surprised about the "antipathy" over him playing disgraced presenter Jimmy Savile in a new drama, but believes it will "justify itself".

The Alan Partridge star will play Savile - who is believed to have been one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders - in BBC drama The Reckoning.

The decision to look at the late presenter's life has been blasted by some.

Read more: Coleen Nolan says Jimmy Savile invited her to hotel room when she was 14

However, Coogan told the Evening Standard that he had "expected a lot of antipathy towards it" but feels it needs to be looked at "to make sure it doesn’t happen again".

Sir Jimmy Savile attends the ceremony to name Cunard's new cruise-liner Queen Elizabeth II in Southampton Docks in Southampton, England.
Jimmy Savile died in 2011. (PA)

The star, 56, said the story isn't just about Savile but also the nation and how we are with celebrity.

Coogan said Savile either "hoodwinked" the nation, or that the nation "enabled him" as, because of who he was, he may not have been subject to the same scrutiny as a normal member of the public.

He said: “And because he made friends with people in powerful places, he was able to operate with impunity... That’s why the story has to be told, I think, because you need to see how someone like this operates."

"I’m pretty confident when it comes out it will justify itself," he added.

Steve Coogan says the drama will 'justify itself'. (Getty)
Steve Coogan says the drama will 'justify itself'. (Getty)

Savile was well known for hosting BBC shows such as Top Of The Pops and Jim’ll Fix It.

Read more: Louis Theroux heard rumours about sex offender Jimmy Savile when he was a child

He died in 2011 aged 84 and the following year was exposed as a serial sex offender.

It was discovered that he had used his celebrity as well as his involvement in charities, hospitals and prisons to abuse hundreds of people over the years.

Watch: Steve Coogan: Death of the Queen 'a defining moment for Britain'