Steve Coogan is the doppelganger of sexual predator Jimmy Savile

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Steve Coogan resumed work as disgraced TV host Jimmy Savile on Monday as filming began for a controversial new drama inspired by his fame and posthumous fall from grace.

With temperatures near freezing in Lancashire, the actor, best known for his role as hapless Alan Partridge, filmed in the snow during an outdoor shoot in Manchester.

Coogan, 56, will play Savile in the upcoming BBC drama The Reckoning, and his feathered fringe haircut and gaudy red tracksuit suggested he portrayed the aberrant sexual predator during his heyday in the 1970s.

Back on set: Steve Coogan resumed work as disgraced TV host Jimmy Savile on Monday as filming began for a controversial new drama inspired by his fame and posthumous fall from grace

Back on set: Steve Coogan resumed work as disgraced TV host Jimmy Savile on Monday as filming began for a controversial new drama inspired by his fame and posthumous fall from grace

The actor was seen running off the grounds of a parish church and making his way into an old-fashioned phone booth as cameras closely monitored his movements.

As always, Coogan’s appearance was radically altered, with a protruding prosthetic chin helping to mold his otherwise conventional features into the suspicious, angular Savile.

The decision to describe Savile’s life has come under fire from many, but the BBC has stated that they have worked with his victims and will portray a story “with sensitivity and respect”.

Out in the elements: With freezing temperatures across Lancashire, the actor, best known for his role as hapless Alan Partridge, filmed in the snow during an outdoor shoot in Manchester

Out in the elements: With freezing temperatures across Lancashire, the actor, best known for his role as hapless Alan Partridge, filmed in the snow during an outdoor shoot in Manchester

Authentic: Coogan, 56, will play Savile in the upcoming BBC drama The Reckoning, and his feathered, fringed haircut and showy red tracksuit suggested he portrayed the aberrant sexual predator during his heyday in the 1970s

Authentic: Coogan, 56, will play Savile in the upcoming BBC drama The Reckoning, and his feathered, fringed haircut and showy red tracksuit suggested he portrayed the aberrant sexual predator during his heyday in the 1970s

Authentic: Coogan, 56, will play Savile in the upcoming BBC drama The Reckoning, and his feathered, fringed haircut and showy red tracksuit suggested he portrayed the aberrant sexual predator during his heyday in the 1970s

Make way: The actor was seen racing from the grounds of a parish church and making his way into an old-fashioned telephone booth as cameras closely monitored his movements

Make way: The actor was seen racing from the grounds of a parish church and making his way into an old-fashioned telephone booth as cameras closely monitored his movements

Coogan previously explained in a statement that the decision to play Savile was not “one I took lightly.”

He said, “Neil McKay has written an intelligent script that sensitively addresses a horrific story that, however poignant, must be told.”

Savile, who grew up from a humble working-class upbringing to become one of British television’s biggest stars, died in 2011 at the age of 84.

Quite a difference: As always, Coogan's appearance was radically changed, with a protruding prosthetic chin helping to mold his otherwise conventional features into the suspicious, angular Savile

Quite a difference: As always, Coogan’s appearance was radically changed, with a protruding prosthetic chin helping to mold his otherwise conventional features into the suspicious, angular Savile

Disgraced: A BBC-led investigation into Savile's actions found he molested at least 72 children, some as young as eight, during a four-decade campaign of sexual abuse involving his first victim in 1959 and his last in 2006

Pictured: Steve Coogan as Savile on Monday

Disgraced: A BBC-led investigation into Savile’s actions found he molested at least 72 children, some as young as eight, during a four-decade campaign of sexual abuse involving his first victim in 1959 and his last in 2006

In his final years, he fought to quell growing speculation about his illegal activities during his illustrious career at the BBC – with victim testimonials expected to come to life in the new drama.

A BBC-led investigation into his actions revealed that during a four-decade campaign of sexual abuse with his first victim in 1959 and his last in 2006, he molested at least 72 children, some as young as eight years old.

His horrific reign of abuse could be mapped “in the corridors, canteens, stairways and dressing rooms of every BBC building,” their 2016 report found.

Executive producer, Jeff Pope, said, “I think this is a story that needs to be told. We need to understand why a man like Jimmy Savile seemed immune to scrutiny and criminal investigation for so long.

“Steve has a unique ability to inhabit complex characters and will approach this role with the utmost care and integrity.”

The BBC also says it will draw on “extensive and broad investigative resources” of the project to investigate the lasting impact of Savile’s crimes and the “powerlessness” his victims felt.

Piers Wenger Controller, of BBC Drama, added: ‘Jimmy Savile’s story is one of the most emotional and disturbing of our time. Our intent is not to sensationalize these crimes, but to give a voice to its victims.

“We will work with survivors to ensure their stories are told with sensitivity and respect and to investigate the institutions Jimmy Savile was associated with and the circumstances in which these crimes took place.

“Drama has the ability to tackle sensitive real-life topics and consider the impact of a crime on survivors and what lessons can be learned to prevent it from ever happening again.”

A release date has yet to be announced and filming for the series is expected to take place in Manchester in the coming months.

For confidential support for adults who have been abused in any way in childhood, call NAPAC on 0808 801 0331, without a landline or cell phone, or click here for more information.

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