The actor and comedian Steve Coogan made a point of reassuring victims of Jimmy Savile whilst in costume on the set of The Reckoning due to the similarity in appearance with the disgraced entertainer.
Coogan is known for his comedic roles, particularly as Alan Partridge, but will play serial sex offender Savile in the four-part series.
It will trace the life of Savile from a working-class background to one of the biggest stars in television and will also focus on his years of sexual abuse and the impact he had on his victims.
Four of the victims have waived their anonymity and feature in the series.
Savile died in October 2011 aged 84 having never been brought to justice for his crimes.
Coogan had 'extraordinary similarity' to Savile on set
Jeff Pope, executive producer of The Reckoning, told the Radio Times that Coogan had a striking resemblance to Savile whilst in costume on set.
He explained: “I had several lunches with him during filming and it was someone who looked like Jimmy Savile but sounded like Steve.
“When we had victims on set – at their request and with all safeguarding support in place – Steve would come round the corner and you could feel the intake of breath because it was such an extraordinary similarity.
“So he made a point of saying, ‘I’m Steve’, and he would have a conversation with them as Steve.”
Pope had previously worked with Coogan on the screenplay for the 2013 film Philomena, which they ended up receiving a BAFTA award for.
Discussing the casting of Savile for the series Pope shared: "When I asked Steve to do it, he didn’t immediately say yes, but talked to his family and friends and they divided into two camps – you absolutely must do this, and you absolutely must not.
“There was no one in the middle and it was that polarity that made him want to take it on.”]
The executive producer also said he “passionately” believes that stories such as Savile’s have to be explored, but added that every scene had “multiple decisions of taste and tone”, which led to it taking three years to land on screen.
The first episode of The Reckoning will air on October 9 on the BBC.