ALL profits generated by the BBC's Jimmy Savile drama will be donated to charity, the Sunday National can reveal.

The programme, titled The Reckoning, has received a tempered initial reception, after the BBC last week released its first image from the upcoming show featuring actor Steve Coogan as the infamous sex offender and TV personality, whose crimes were not uncovered until after his death.

Victim Support Scotland said that it was "disappointed" by the BBC's decision to create the drama, which it said would potentially be "re-traumatising" for the victims, and called for all profits to be donated to support survivors of child abuse. 

But according to a source close to production, the show was never commissioned with the intention of making a profit, and any proceeds made through the BBC's commercial arms will be donated to charity.

Dramas are often expensive to produce, with relatively low margins, so it is likely that The Reckoning will not generate any profit for the broadcaster - and therefore any money for charity.

However the Sunday National understands that any funds that are generated from the production, for example through distribution internationally, will be given to charitable causes.

The programme is slated to use the “unique ability” of drama to “highlight the importance of confronting the horrors of the past and talking openly about abuse”, according to the BBC website, with the production team also including four real-life interviews with survivors in the programme.

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A BBC Spokesperson said: “The team have worked closely with many people whose lives were impacted by Savile to ensure their experiences are told and reflected with sensitivity and respect, and 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.”

However, Kate Wallace, the chief executive of charity Victim Support Scotland which offers help and advice to those who have suffered at the hands of criminals, said such TV offerings can force victims to “relive” the experience of abuse.

She told the Sunday National: "We are disappointed to see that the BBC has created a drama based on the abuse inflicted by Jimmy Savile, and sincerely hope that any income generated from the future sale of this programme is donated to organisations supporting victims of child abuse.

"People affected by crime have told us that dramatisations of serious crime can be re-traumatising, making them feel like they are reliving the abuse they have experienced."

The production follows a swathe of other crime dramas featuring serious violent criminals in recent years, such as Netflix’s Dahmer anthology series on American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer released last year and the 2019 film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, which starred Zac Effron as murderer and rapist Ted Bundy.

Dr Gemma Flynn, a criminologist at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, said that The Reckoning can be viewed as part of a recent “true crime boom”.

She said: “Fictional representations of real criminality can have a huge impact on our understanding of crime. The accumulated body of research in this field suggests that these can tend to exaggerate or sensationalise criminality in ways that can be difficult for victims to view, or can make broader audiences worry that violent crime is imminent.

“Taken within the current ’true crime’ boom, where stories of serial killers or outlier cases are commonly focussed on, there is a concern that the cumulative effect might be to increase fear of crime significantly.

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“This can have numerous effects, such as limiting a person’s sense of freedom in the world and prompting viewers to endorse harsh punishments, where rehabilitative efforts might in fact be more effective in reducing crime.”

The four-part drama series will air on BBC One and iPlayer this autumn. 

Flynn added: “The competition among streaming platforms for grizzly true crime stories which will capture audience attention sometimes means that victims of these crimes are subject to a fictionalisation of their story, which can be distressing and can even result in ’secondary victimisation’.

“It would be useful for storytellers to reflect on the messages they embed in these works and the potential real impact that they can have on victims of these crimes and broader audiences."

It comes as the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry continues to investigate the abuse of children in Scotland.

Broadcaster Nicky Campbell gave evidence to the inquiry last week, speaking himself of “Savile-scale” abuse at his former school Edinburgh Academy in the 1960s and 70s.

The inquiry has a strict remit to research only the abuse of children in care, and will issue a final report to the Scottish Government once its investigations are complete.

It is encouraging anyone with relevant information or experience of child abuse in Scotland to get in touch, and can be contacted on 0800 0929 300 or by emailing

Anyone who is affected by The Reckoning BBC drama and needs emotional support or guidance can contact Victim Support Scotland on 0800 160 1985 or through online chat on