Play about Jimmy Savile to hit London theatre with Alistair McGowan playing the disgraced entertainer

Impressionist Alistair McGowan will play the role of disgraced DJ Jimmy Savile in a play set to open in London this summer Credit: PA

A play about the shocking double life of Jimmy Savile will open in London in June, with award-winning impressionist Alistair McGowan taking on the role of the disgraced entertainer.

Jonathan Maitland, the journalist and writer behind An Audience with Jimmy Savile, told The Guardian he believes "people are ready" for an on-stage depiction of the scandal.

Savile died aged 84 in 2011 - the year before his litany of abuse was uncovered.

Journalist Jonathan Maitland says 'people are ready' for a play about Jimmy Savile Credit: PA

Maitland described McGowan's participation as a casting coup and said the actor and impressionist is "terrific" at portraying Savile's "dark, nasty side."

He denied that the play was exploitative, describing it as "giving a voice" to victims.

"We’re not making jokes here," he added.

The play will be shown at Park theatre, north London, from 10 June - 11 July.

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