Paris Lees’ acclaimed memoir What It Feels Like For A Girl has inspired a new TV series for the BBC.
Set at the turn of the millennium, the coming-of-age story will follow teenager Byron, who is stuck in a small working-class town that hasn’t been the same since the coal mine shut in the 80s, and is fed up of life there.
Making an escape to Nottingham’s kinetic underworld, Byron comes across the East Midlands’ premier podium-dancer-cum-hellraiser, Lady Die, and is adopted into Lady Die’s chaotic family of trouble-makers, dubbed The Fallen Divas.
📢 BBC announces What It Feels Like For A Girl, a new drama inspired by the acclaimed memoir by Paris Lees
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) June 20, 2023
The eight-part series, inspired by the book, will be adapted for television by columnist and campaigner Lees, who is the first openly trans woman to present a show on Radio 1 and to appear on Question Time.
She said: “I’m excited, hysterical, thrown and overblown with bliss, but most of all I’m just having so much fun bringing this universe to life in a visual medium.
“It’s a primal scream – from the depths of a council estate – against a world that would prefer people who don’t fit the norm didn’t exist.
“But we do and we’re not going away, we’re not apologising and we’re not shutting up.
“This is a deeply personal project and I’m thrilled to be working with the BBC and the team at Hera who have been so supportive of both me and my creative vision.
“The fact Chris Sweeney is directing, well, I feel like I’m top of the pops. I can’t wait for everyone to see what we’re cooking up.”
Liza Marshall, executive producer for production company Hera Pictures, added: “Paris is a truly exciting talent. She has created a daringly distinctive world, richly drawn characters that viewers will fall in love with, and a compelling story that will challenge perceptions.
“With Paris, the BBC and Chris Sweeney, we have found the dream team of creative partners and we could not be more thrilled to be working with them to bring this ground-breaking series to life in a way that is just as funny, gobby, joyful, heart-breaking, and thought-provoking as her original memoir.”
Filming will take place in 2024, and What It Feels Like For A Girl will air on BBC Three and iPlayer.