BBC slammed for ‘ill-judged’ ratings war as Savile drama clashes with ITV series
5th October 2023

The Reckoning official trailer

The BBC has been slammed for their ‘ill-judged’ time to air the first instalment of their Jimmy Savile drama The Reckoning.

In the four-part series, viewers will see Savile’s (played by Steve Coogan) crimes examined and will feature testimony from his survivors.

It was announced three years ago by the broadcaster, who said the series will look at how the disgraced presenter used his powerful connections to conceal his crimes.

People will be able to see the first instalment next Monday on the BBC at 9pm, however, this coincides with ITV’s new drama The Long Shadow.

The Long Shadow, which first aired two weeks ago, looks at the five-year manhunt for the serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, known as the Yorkshire Ripper.

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However, the BBC’s decision for the Savile drama to clash with the ITV series hasn’t gone down well.

A TV insider told The Sun: “This effectively brings together two of the biggest monsters of the 1970s and 80s simultaneously on Britain’s two biggest channels.

“This feels ill-judged and insensitive. Victims of both will wonder who at the BBC thought this would be a good idea.

“ITV1 can hardly be blamed as The Long Shadow started in the 9pm slot two weeks ago.”

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A BBC spokesperson told the publication: “We were unaware of any plans from ITV. We have long discussed this transmission date with the survivors.” has contacted the BBC for comment.

The BBC drama on the sex offender, who died in 2011 aged 84, has been the subject of controversy since it was announced as some have slammed the decision to have his crimes made into a series.

The broadcaster said about the four-part series: “It is important to understand how he was able to hide in plain sight to gain a greater understanding of how he evaded justice.

“The drama aims to highlight the importance of confronting the horrors of the past and talking openly about abuse.”

The BBC stated they’ve worked closely with a range of people whose lives have been impacted by Savile to ensure their experiences are reflected with sensitivity and respect.

They added: “The drama will also draw on extensive, wide-ranging research and published accounts. It will examine the impact his appalling crimes had on his victims and the powerlessness many felt when they tried to raise the alarm.”

The Reckoning airs next Monday on BBC One from 9pm.

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