It was the week before Christmas in 2012 when I got the news that every writer dreams of hearing“The BBC have green lit your book. It’s going to be a 90 minute drama”.
Cue a hasty rush to a local pub to quaff champagne with David Eldridge, who had written the screenplay and Eleanor Greene of Wall to Wall Television who would be executive producing the adaptation of Lady Worsley’s Whim.
Fast forward to December 2014 and I’m standing in an 18th century drawing room at Clandon House having my mind blown. I’m watching Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones, and The Hunger Games) dressed in a replica of Lady Worsley’s stunning red riding habit stomp around as stroppy Seymour, Lady Worsley. She looks incredible, it’s as if Sir Joshua Reynolds’ portrait has come to life. She is in every way how I imagined the impetuous anti-heroine of my book. This is not only down to David’s excellent writing, but Natalie’s talent and her true interest in the details of history.
I can’t begin to convey the surreal experience of watching the people who once lived in my head become flesh and blood. Anyone who has ever written a book, nonfiction or fiction knows that it’s impossible not to become possessed by your subject matter. It (or they) takes over your life completely. For years, I sat alone in archives or in front of my computer imagining Sir Richard and Lady Worsley, and the third person in their marriage, George Bisset. Some parts of their lives are extremely well documented, while other periods are obscured by a lack of source material. I moved between evidence and supposition to create Lady Worsley’s Whim, and in the process I feel I got to know these truly unusual people.
To see one’s book appear on the shelves is a pleasure in itself, but then to witness the transformation of static word to moving image is at times almost otherworldly. Stranger still was my day spent on set as an extra, when, after having a hair piece attached to my head and then being cinched into a corset, I walked directly into a scene in my book! I very coolly took my place on the sofa next to Sir Richard Worsley (played outstandingly well by Shaun Evans of Endeavour fame) and sneered at him with great disdain. He understood that of all the people in Captain Leversuch’s drawing room, no one knew his dirty secrets better than me.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”191″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]The Scandalous Lady W (as the 90 minute drama is to be called) will be broadcast on BBC2 at some point during the summer. The specific date is to be confirmed. In the meantime you can read more about the drama via these links, or better yet, get the full story by reading Lady Worsleyâ€™s Whim!