Happy Valley and Queer as Folk producers are adapting Jess Phillips’ story into a new TV drama series. Here’s everything we know so far…
Jess Phillips’ Everywoman: One Woman’s Truth About Speaking the Truth is an essential read.
From working directly with refugees and victims of domestic abuse, to representing her constituency as MP for Birmingham Yarley – the politician has plenty of essential truths to tell, especially in the UK’s current political climate.
And let’s not forget some of her most memorable moments in Parliament.
In 2016, Phillips stood up in the House of Commons to read out the list of 120 women who had been died as a consequence of domestic abuse over the previous 12 months. And, earlier this year, the MP defended her constituents who were accused of being “unskilled” because they earned under £30k a year. “I have met lots of people who earn way more than £30,000 and have literally no discernible skills, not even one,” she said in the powerful speech.
She also joined Stylist as part of our Women of the House video series, which is why news of her autobiography being made into a TV drama series is a cause for celebration.
The show will be co-produced and developed by Manchester based production company RED (Queer as Folk, Happy Valley, Scott & Bailey) and executive producer Lucy Dye (Black Mirror, Ripper Street). RED is also led by executive producer Nicola Shindler, who recently received the 2019 BAFTA Special Award for her services to television.
“I’m utterly thrilled to be working with RED, a company based outside of London led by Nicola Shindler, and with Lucy Dyke co-producing,” said Phillips. “They make the kind of television that truly represents people and events as they are and that was deeply important to me. The story of women in politics is complex and nuanced and intriguing, and it’s a story that needs telling.”
She has also tweeted: “So you know that game you play when you’re a kid about who will play you in a TV drama….. My husband and kids have some wild choices. So proud to be being made dramatic by the amazing @NicolaShindler and Lucy Dyke.”
“Jess is an inspirational woman who fights for what she believes in and isn’t afraid to be honest and outspoken,” added Shindler. “Using her book as a source we’re excited to create a drama that explores how an engaged woman can make a difference in today’s very complicated world.”
Phillips is also working on another book at the moment, Truth to Power: 7 Ways to Call Time on B.S, which is due for release in October.
Meanwhile, UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin – who has directed rape threats at Phillips since 2016 – recently failed in his bid to get elected to the European Parliament.