When I was nine years old I had a very lucky escape, although I didn’t know it at the time. With the help of my mother, I wrote a letter to Jim’ll Fix It in the hope of appearing on the show and earning an elusive badge. The idea was that because I shared the same name as one of Grange Hill’s cast members I might be given a walk-on part. My application was unsuccessful. Thank God!

However, this is not about me (although it could so easily have been), but about the many victims who fell prey to paedophile Jimmy Savile. Even seeing his name elicits disgust – knowing as we do now about his decades of child abuse, carried out under the guise of eccentricity and protected by fame. He is the personification of evil who duped millions and was adored by the Establishment.

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So why on earth does the BBC believe a drama about his life is appropriate? Normally, I would argue shining a light on darkness exposes truths that would otherwise remain hidden. But is The Reckoning, as the drama is titled, the best way to go about it?

Whereas documentaries adhere to examination, dramas are about interpretation. Facts can be interwoven with elements of fiction. It’s entertainment after all.

The horror of his actions is still too fresh in the memory to be given over to the realms of artistic licence. A film about Jack the Ripper can be gripping viewing while also giving a convincing account of his crimes. But the big difference with Savile is time.

Then there are the motives of the BBC. I’m sure the Corporation (if it has any sense) won’t shy away from exposing the culture of complacency within its own corridors that helped nurture predatory behaviour. But it smacks of getting in there early before rivals get their hands on it. The BBC’s move appears driven less by contrition than by a desire to control its own seedy legacy.

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And why an intelligent bloke like Steve Coogan, who is to play the disgraced DJ, thought this was a good idea is baffling. He will undoubtedly inhabit the role with great skill, but it is impossible to truly suspend belief. There is a real danger the spotlight will be on his performance rather than the plight of the families and victims.

The Savile affair is a shocking indictment of how celebrity was used to hide monstrous acts. Indeed, it can now be seen as a pivotal moment. Shameful activity once covered up by those in charge is now under scrutiny. Subsequent inquiries into abuse at children’s homes and boarding schools have their origins in the saga. Even MeToo and Black Lives Matter owe something to the growing sense of injustice and the need to right the wrongs of the past that can be traced to the previous decade.

Historic abuse should never be swept under the carpet, but there are ways and means to make sure it is exposed and lessons learnt.

I would not advocate banning The Reckoning, but I have to ask, what is the point? I certainly know that when I see Coogan’s Savile staring back at me on the iPlayer’s drama section, I’ll be scrolling on. No thanks.

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