Victim Jimmy Savile gropes on TV fearing Steve Coogan will ‘struggle’ playing ‘monster’ – as BBC drama faces calls for deportation | UK News

A woman scouted by Jimmy Savile on Top Of The Pops fears Steve Coogan will “struggle” to portray the “monster” in an upcoming BBC drama, amid calls for the film cut.

Sylvia Edwards was 18 years old when she was attacked in front of the camera during a music show taping, but her complaint about the presenter’s behavior was dismissed by a crew member who said it was “just Jimmy Savile”.

Footage from the 1976 show shows the incident as she tries to escape Savilewho said to the camera: “One guy can get used to all of this.”

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2012: Savile appears to be searching for a member of Top Of The Pops

Ms Edwards told Sky News she spoke of her ordeal with the producers of the mini-series The Reckoning, which will feature Coogan as a serial abuser later this year.

Coogan defended the film following criticism for its potential impact on Savile’s victims, with BBC also faced claims of hypocrisy during the show’s broadcast despite its role in the scandal.

An investigation in 2016 found Savile abused 72 people linked to his BBC work, including eight rapes – with one victim just 10 years old.

A former Operation Yewtree detective questioned the show’s purpose and told Sky News he wanted the BBC to drop plans to air the series, saying it was “disrespectful” to the actors. Savile’s victim.

While Ms. Edwards has supported the program, she is afraid Coogan – best known for comedian Alan Partridge – may struggle to portray Savile’s “sinister side” after branding showrunner Jim Will Fix It “the most disgusting human ever put on this earth”.

She told Sky News: “I hope (Coogan) portrays it well to make people realize what a monster that man is.

“(Coogan) can act as goofy as Jimmy Savile used to be, but the sinister side, I think maybe he might struggle.

“Jimmy Savile was destroyed anyway… he will be remembered as a pedophile forever.

“I hope (Coogan) plays well… I hope he plays it so people really see how despicable Savile is.”

Steve Coogan plays Jimmy Savile in the BBC television series The Reckoning.  Photo: Ken McKay / ITV / Shutterstock
Steve Coogan plays Jimmy Savile in the BBC television series The Reckoning. Photo: Ken McKay / ITV / Shutterstock

‘This dirty old man is touching me’

Describing her ordeal on Top Of The Pops, Ms Edwards said Savile’s hand was “like a solid rock” when he touched her and she couldn’t get away because she was surrounded by spectators.

“I just thought he was disgusting,” she said.

“His hand was like a solid rock. I couldn’t move.

“I’m so shocked and embarrassed that I can’t do anything about it.

“If he did that to me now, if he were alive, I would probably have hit him.

“But when you were young… I was embarrassed because the camera was so close, and I was thinking: ‘God, everyone can see’.

Sylvia Edwards, who was attacked by Jimmy Savile
Savile’s assault on Sylvia Edwards happened on camera. Photo: BBC

“There’s so much going through your head at that point. And you just think, ‘This dirty old man is touching me and I can’t move.”

“There are people who just chock-a-block so I can’t get anywhere. I hate that.

“Even now, I still don’t like anyone getting too close to me behind.”

Ms Edwards, who attended Top Of The Pops with a friend, said she reported Savile’s assault to a crew member but “basically he told me to get lost”.

“He said, ‘Go away, it’s just Jimmy Savile,'” Mrs. Edwards added.

Jimmy Savile victim Sylvia Edwards.
Sylvia Edwards said her complaint about Savile’s conduct was dismissed at the time

The 64-year-old mother-of-two from Twickenham, south-west London, said she was “excited in a way” that the film about Savile was made because she hoped it would encourage those who have not yet succumbed. Speak up. .

She added: “It won’t do (any) good, the man is dead and he’s going to rot in hell for all I care about.

“But I hope people come forward… It doesn’t matter if they’re a celebrity, whatever – go ahead and tell someone.

“Nobody is above the law. No one.”

Former detective urges BBC to remove TV series Savile

Former Operation Yewtree detective Gary Pankhurst has called on the BBC to cancel plans to broadcast The Reckoning after calling it “exploratory” and “damaging” to Savile’s victims.

The series will air on BBC One later this year, with October marking 10 years since the launch of Operation Yewtree, the investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by Savile and others.

Jimmy Savile was taken in 2006. Pic: Action Images / Lee Smith / Reuters
Savile, pictured in 2006, is considered one of the UK’s most prolific sex offenders. Photo: Action Images / Lee Smith / Reuters

Mr Yewtree, a former detective sergeant at the Metropolitan Police, told Sky News he was “extremely worried” about the show’s impact on survivors and questioned the purpose of setting up a drama. about Savile’s abuse.

“For me, it’s like being completely deaf,” he said.

“No matter how carefully a drama is made, it’s still a drama.

“In the end, there’s no need.

“This story is not a BBC story to tell. They have no right to do that.

“I think it’s disrespectful beyond anything else.”

Photo of Jimmy Savile in 1998
A former Detective for Operation Yewtree says he is ‘extremely concerned’ about the BBC drama about Savile (pictured)

Mr Pankhurst, who worked on Operation Yewtree from 2012 to 2015, said he had not been approached by The Reckoning’s producers but that he would turn down any participation in the show.

He added: “I can’t see it being anything other than exploratory and damaging to those affected by this.

“This is not something from the obscure and distant past. It is relatively recent.

“I don’t see how it could be anything other than sensationalism.”

Mr Pankhurst said he believed it would be a “reasonable decision” for the BBC to cut the film.

He added: “What positive contribution could it make to this story?

“The reality is it’s going to make a lot of people miserable so it’s not necessary.

“That made me very insecure.

“Ethically and ethically, the better position to perform is to simply withdraw.”

Steve Coogan
Steve Coogan says his decision to play Savile was not one he ‘takes lightly’

Why more of Savile’s victims could show up later this year

Richard Scorer, whose law firm represents 168 of Savile’s victims, criticized the BBC’s involvement in the film and said he spoke to survivors who had “real difficulty” with it.

The head of abuse law at Slater & Gordon told Sky News: “If the Catholic Church made and aired a documentary about abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church, that would obviously put people off Survivors upset and they won’t feel it’s the proper way to solve the problem.

“I think there’s a similarity here.”

Jimmy Savile watches Britain's Queen Elizabeth II name Cunard's newest cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth in Southampton.  Read less Photos by: Chris Ison / PA Archive / PA Images Date taken: 11-10-2010
Savile abused 72 people in connection with his BBC work, an investigation finds

However, another lawyer representing dozens of Savile’s victims said he believes more could emerge later this year after The Reckoning airs.

Alan Collins, who led the sexual abuse team at attorney Hugh James, told Sky News he knew of three victims who consulted about the film and supported them.

He added: “Celebrity status can be abused, as we continue to see – with so many famous cases – so it is very important that we remind ourselves otherwise, The risk is not to learn the lesson.”

What is the Jimmy Savile scandal?

  • Veteran DJ and broadcaster Jimmy Savile died in October 2011 at the age of 84 after a suspected bout of pneumonia.
  • At the time, tributes to the former Radio 1 presenter, best known for presenting BBC shows Jim will Fix It and Top of the Pops and who was knighted by the Queen in 2016. 1990
  • Shortly after his death, a report by two Newsnight journalists investigating stories of abuse by Savile was dropped on the basis it would affect programs scheduled to celebrate his anniversary. during Christmas.
  • Later, an ITV documentary aired in 2012 featured five women who said they were indecently assaulted by Savile as schoolgirls in the late 1960s and 1970s.
  • The Met Police launched Operation Yewtree in October 2012 to investigate allegations of abuse by Savile and others, with hundreds of alleged victims to follow.
  • A 2014 NSPCC study found that Savile abused at least 500 people, with the youngest victim just two years old.
  • A 2016 investigation, by former Supreme Court justice Dame Janet Smith, found that at least 72 people had been sexually abused by Savile in connection with his work at the BBC. They include eight rape victims – with the youngest being just 10 years old
  • The investigation found that the breach took place between 1959 and 2006, with the largest number of victims linked to Savile’s work on Top of the Pops.
  • Savile is now believed to be one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders, having died without ever facing justice

What did the BBC say?

A BBC spokesman told Sky News: “The film will examine the impact Savile’s horrific crimes have had on his victims, the helplessness many feel when they try to raise the alarm, and how Savile used her celebrity to hide from front of her.

“We are working closely with the many people whose lives have been impacted by him to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect.”

Coogan has previously said that his decision to play Savile was not one he “takes lightly” and that the script “sensitively addresses a terrible – albeit difficult – story that needs to be told.” again”.

He also insisted the BBC was “responsible” for the series and that “there is no whitewashing in this film”.

The screenplay, written by Neil McKay, whose other credits include the BBC drama Four Lives about serial killer Stephen Port, has received critical acclaim for his victim-focused performance.

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