Steve Coogan is set to play BBC paedophile Jimmy Savile in new drama detailing the former presenter's life.

The Reckoning will be broadcast by the BBC and will explore Savile's upbringing, as well as his early career and prolific child sex offences.

Working with Savile's victims, the Corporation has said it will portray the story "with sensitivity and respect".

Alan Partridge star Coogan said the decision to play Savile was not one he "took lightly".

"To play Jimmy Savile was not a decision I took lightly," the 55-year-old actor said.

"Neil McKay has written an intelligent script tackling sensitively a horrific story which, however harrowing, needs to be told."

Steve Coogan is set to play BBC paedophile Jimmy Savile in new drama detailing the former presenter's life (

Image:

Getty Images)

A source told The Sun: "It’s an unlikely casting in a way but Steve has shown an ability to take on serious roles.

"It is certainly a brave decision on his part."

The Reckoning is set to start filming within weeks but does not yet have a release date.

Executive producer Jeff Pope said: "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.

The Reckoning will be broadcast by the BBC and will explore Jimmy Savile's upbringing, as well as his early career and prolific child sex offences (

Image:

WireImage)

"Steve has a unique ability to inhabit complex characters and will approach this role with the greatest care and integrity," he added.

Savile died aged 84 in 2011 and after his death, hundreds of allegations of sexual abuse were made against him, leading the police to conclude that Savile had been a predatory sex offender - possibly one of Britain's most prolific.

Alan Partridge star Steve Coogan said the decision to play Savile was not one he 'took lightly' (

Image:

PA Wire/PA Images)

The BBC said: "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."

Read More Read More