A collage of two pictures, one of Sian Clifford and one of the cover of Kate Atkinson's Life After Life with a fox on it

Life After Life: Fleabag’s Sian Clifford is starring in the BBC adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s bestselling novel

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The BBC is adding another literary adaptation to its list with Life After Life, its new drama based on Kate Atkinson’s best-selling novel. Here’s everything we know about the series so far. 

When it comes to book-to-TV adaptations, the BBC certainly knows what it’s doing. 

From last year’s hotly-anticipated depiction of Sally Rooney’s Normal People to its take on Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist, the channel is home to a long list of brilliant literary adaptations across a wide range of genres.  

And now, the BBC is adding another stand-out title to its list with its upcoming adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s bestselling novel, Life After Life.  

Besides the fact that the book is hugely popular – it was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and won a Costa Book Award in 2013 – its gripping plot and supernatural elements make it perfect BBC drama material, and we can’t wait to see how it converts to the screen.

Here’s everything we know about the new series so far.  

What’s the plot of Life After Life?

Life After Life follows the story of Ursula Todd, a young girl who is born one night in 1910, but dies before she is able to take her first breath. However, this doesn’t mark the end of her story, as on the same night in 1910 she is reborn and survives – an event that unfolds time and time again as she lives and dies in alternative iterations of her existence.

Life After Life follows Ursula as she navigates each new life at her fingertips, across a period that spans two world wars and sees her come face to face with Hitler himself.

At the heart of the series lies a list of important questions: what is it that Ursula so desperately needs to stay alive for? Can a perfect life ever be lived? And can she change the course of history – and in doing so, save the world from its seemingly inevitable destiny? 

The cover for Kate Atkinson's Life After Life with a fox in the centre
Kate Atkinson's Life After Life follows the story of Ursula Todd.

Who stars in Life After Life?

Fleabag’s Sian Clifford will take on a starring role in the series, playing Sylvie, Ursula’s mother. Alongside her, James McArdle (Man In An Orange Shirt) will play Hugh, Ursula’s father, with Thomasin McKenzie, known for her role in Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit, playing the role of Ursula.

Other members of the stellar line-up include Jessica Brown Findlay (Harlots, Brave New World) and Jessica Hynes (Years and Years).

They are joined by Patsy Ferran (Black Narcissus), Harry Michell (Yesterday), Laurie Kynaston (The Trouble With Maggie Cole), Joshua Hill (Small Axe) and Maria Laird (Derry Girls). 

When is Life After Life coming to the BBC?

Details of when Life After Life will be coming to screens are yet to be announced, but we do know the series will air on BBC One and iPlayer and consist of four 60-minute episodes.

We’ll update this space when we learn more information, so keep your eyes peeled for the latest news.  

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Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.