From Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love to Nikki May’s soon-to-be-published debut novel Wahala, here are the books that are hitting the small screen courtesy of the BBC.
Last year, one Stylist writer discussed why Dolly Alderton’s memoir, Everything I Know About Love, was the book that a lot of women reached out for in lockdown.
Even before the pandemic, the author’s 2018 debut book was beloved by many for its notes on the romantic relationships we have with friends, partners and ourselves (it’s little surprise that the book is a Sunday Times Bestseller).
Now, as part of a wider commission that will see the stories of some incredible female authors getting the TV treatment, the BBC has announced that Alderton’s memoir will be adapted for the small screen.
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Award-winning writer of Rocks, Theresa Ikoko, will also adapt soon-to-be published novel Wahala. Cash Carraway will be penning a series inspired by her darkly funny debut memoir, Skint Estate, which will star Daisy May Cooper. And Candice Carty-Williams, author of bestselling novel Queenie, is taking on an original drama series.
The BBC has also confirmed that it is working on a new project with I May Destroy You’s Michaela Coel, as well as a project with This Is England’s Shane Meadows.
It all sounds very, very exciting. Let’s take a look at the projects in more detail…
Everything I Know About Love
Adapted by Alderton, Everything I Know About Love gives an unflinching account of surviving your 20s. Maggie and Birdy, besties since school, finally land in London to live it large, when the unexpected happens – dependable Birdy gets a steady boyfriend.
Alderton said in a statement: “It’s a messy, boisterous, joyful, romantic comedy about two best female friends from childhood and what happens when they move in to their first London house share and the first phase of adulthood. I cannot stress enough how thrilled I am that it is being made by Working Title and the BBC.”
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Cash Carraway (working title)
Inspired by her book Skint Estate, Cash Carraway’s new series is a wild and punky tale of being trapped below the poverty line and doing everything it takes to escape. May Cooper (This Country) stars as a young working-class single mum living with her 10-year-old daughter in the brutal lonely landscape of austerity Britain. Told with a dark lick of humour and an anarchic attitude, Cash Carraway skewers stereotypes of what it means to be working-class and underlines the importance of love, dreams and friendships.
Carraway said in a statement: “The show is a about a brash yet intelligent working-class single mum who not only lives in extreme inner-city poverty but a state of ridicule and humiliation as she attempts to improve her life. She’s immoral and shocking and purposefully vile, and swaggerous and quite amazing really – but obviously I would say that as it’s inspired by my life!”
Adapted by Bafta-nominated writer Ikoko from Nikki May’s soon to be published debut novel of the same name, Wahala follows three thirty-something Anglo-Nigerian female friends living in London, successfully navigating a world that mixes roast dinners with jollof rice.
Simi, Ronke and Boo have been best friends for years, sharing every aspect of their careers, family lives and relationships with one another. But when the beautiful, charismatic and super wealthy Isobel infiltrates their friendship group, mounting tensions, unravelling bonds and unearthed secrets have shocking and tragic consequences.
Ikoko said in a statement: “It is a fantastic, intriguing, suspenseful story of friendship, rivalry secrecy and revenge, think Big Little Lies meets Girlfriends meets Peckham! It’s also a really amazing celebration of Nigerian British culture, which I’m a proud flag-bearer of, so it’s going to be a lot of the correct jollof rice, awe-inspiring geles and breath-taking moments, we hope you love it!”
An original drama series from Carty-Williams, Champion tells the story of what happens when fame collides with family. Bosco Champion – the golden boy of the Champion family and a UK rap sensation before he was jailed – is home from prison, and he’s ready to dominate the music industry once more. Since she can remember, his younger sister Vita has been his personal assistant, running around after him, getting him out of trouble and hiding his various misdemeanours. But when Vita’s own talent is discovered by Bosco’s rival, Belly, she steps out of her brother’s shadow to become a performer in her own right, setting the Champion siblings against one another in their quest to both reach the top spot in the charts, and to be the star of the family.
Even their parents, soundman turned radio DJ Beres and 90s R&B one hit wonder Aria, can’t stop Bosco and Vita from splitting the Champion family down the middle as they go head to head in a very public and messy battle. In fact, it might be in their best interests to keep Bosco and Vita apart…
A love letter to Black British music set in south London, Champion is the celebration of a sound that has long been the beating heart of our culture.
Carty-Williams said in a statement: “Champion is a celebration of Black music and a Black family, however fragmented that family might be. Since I knew what music was, I’ve loved grime and UK rap and neo-soul, to the point of obsession, and to bring to a primetime slot a series that gives these genres of music life and texture is absolutely amazing, as is getting to work with some of the best producers making music today to create original tracks for the show.”
Speaking about the new shows, Pete Wenger, head of BBC drama commissioning, said: “I’m delighted to announce these new commissions today, from writers who are already striking a chord with the British public: Cash, Dolly and Candice with their incredible books, Theresa with the astounding Rocks, Stefan, who following the huge success of Mum and Him & Her is turning his hand to hour-long drama, and not least of all the legendary Shane Meadows, who is working with the BBC for the first time on a historical drama which is destined to feel utterly of the moment.
“And finally, I’m thrilled to say we will be working with the unequalled Michaela Coel on another project, more news about that to follow in due course…”
We’ll keep you updated as soon as that mega exciting news is shared.
Images: courtesy of publishers
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…