British actor and comedian Steve Coogan has revealed the reason why he took on the role of the "worst" person he has ever played, Jimmy Savile, in the upcoming BBC series The Reckoning.

Savile rose to become one of the most influential celebrities of his time, however after his death, he was exposed as a paedophile and is now believed to be one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.

The BBC's new four-part series, titled The Reckoning, will track Savile’s rise to becoming one of the biggest stars in television while also focusing on his years of sexual abuse and the impact he had on his victims – four of whom have waived their anonymity and feature in the series.

Mr Coogan, known for portraying comedy character Alan Partridge, will play serial sex offender Savile, who died in October 2011 aged 84 having never been brought to justice for his crimes.

Cotswold Journal: Steve Coogan plays the role of Jimmy Savile in the new BBC series The Reckoning.Steve Coogan plays the role of Jimmy Savile in the new BBC series The Reckoning. (Image: BBC)

Steve Coogan reveals why he took on the role of Jimmy Savile in new BBC series

Mr Coogan, 57, revealed the “calibre” of the team involved with the drama was a main driver for him to take on the project, which he said had “more risk” than anything he had done before.

He said: “I’ve played a few real people in my time, some good and some not, although Savile is certainly the worst.

“The big question is why are you doing it? That’s the question you have to answer, and that’s the question the script has to answer.

“If it does then you’re on the right track, and here it was clear from the script and my conversations with Neil and Jeff that this was being done in an ethical, responsible way.

Mr Coogan continued: “On balance, I think it is better to make this drama than not to make it.

"Drama can capture things in a more nuanced, detailed way that is more illuminating than a straightforward documentary, of which there have been many.

"We’ve seen the power that a well-made, factual drama can have.

“I knew this wasn’t without risk. Nothing that’s interesting to watch is ever without some kind of risk and this had more risks than anything else I’ve done, but knowing that I had the best people with me, I thought it was worth it.

“I feel this series is a really strong piece of work and that all the people involved in it – survivors, cast and crew – should be proud with the job that’s been done.”

He said he hoped The Reckoning would act as a reminder to “listen to victims and survivors” to avoid history repeating itself.

Reflecting on what he hopes people will take away from the upcoming BBC series, which goes to air on Monday, Coogan said: "The point that I hope people will take away is that they learn to listen to victims and survivors, and learn to take these things seriously.

“If you treat people with respect and we act together then you can avoid something like this from happening in the future.”

When will BBC's The Reckoning be on TV?

The first episode of The Reckoning will air on BBC One on Monday, October 9 at 9pm.

There will be four episodes in the series, with the second airing at 9pm on Tuesday, October 10.

The third and fourth episodes are likely to air on the following Monday and Tuesday.