Actor and comedian Steve Coogan has said deciding to play Jimmy Savile was not a decision he took lightly.

Coogan will play the controversial TV personality in gritty new BBC One drama The Reckoning.

The new mini-series will chart the life of the paedophile TV and radio star, from his early life and rise to fame, to his prolific offending.

Savile died in 2011 aged 84 having never been brought to justice for his crimes.

He is now believed to be one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.

A 2016 report into his abuse found staff at the BBC missed numerous opportunities to stop him.

What has the BBC said about the series?

The series will trace Savile through his early years in the dance halls of Northern England and his career with the BBC, up to his twilight years when he tried to dispel growing rumours about his life.

The BBC said it has worked closely with many people whose lives were affected by Savile’s abuse to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect.

The drama will examine the impact of his appalling crimes on his victims and the powerlessness many felt when they tried to raise the alarm.

Savile used his involvement with various organisations, including hospitals, prisons and charities, and his powerful celebrity status to conceal his crimes.

Coogan, who is best known for his comic creation Alan Partridge, said the decision to play the role was not one he took lightly.

He said: “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."

When will the series be on TV?

The BBC has not confirmed a screen date for the series yet, but filming is due to start within weeks.

Director, Sandra Goldbacher, added: "The Reckoning is a unique opportunity to give Savile's survivors, the people who inspired this project, a voice.

“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."