It’s been in the works a while and will finally be going into production, it was revealed yesterday…
ONE OF THE most eagerly anticipated TV adaptations of a popular book is about to go into production next month with an all-star cast, it has been announced.
‘The Boy with the Top Knot’ the searing but funny personal memoir by author and Times journalist Sathnam Sanghera will be adapted for the screen, on BBC 2 as a 90-minute drama.
Sanghera’s debut book charts his upbringing and rise to a place at Cambridge University from humble origins in Wolverhampton.
While the book introduced Sanghera’s trademark wit and generous humour to the world, what lies at the heart of it, is his father’s mental illness and the incredible way his mother manages this and keeps the family together, despite the secrets, trauma and tribulations.
Published to huge acclaim in 2009, Sanghera followed it up with a novel, ‘Marriage Material’ in 2013 and in our interview (at that time) told www.asianculturevulture.com that the book had been optioned by Nisha Parti who had a deal with the BBC for his first book as well.
Another production company, Kudos, has also helped bring ‘The boy with the top knot’ to the screen.
Parti, executive producer Parti Productions, declined to comment yesterday, as did Sanghera, but Parti told the BBC: “After a long and tough journey I am so grateful of the support from Kudos and to the BBC for greenlighting this film and taking the risk in allowing me to tell this difficult, emotional and relevant story.
“I hope it will speak to many second generation Asians who grew up without access to films like this, but hope it will resonate more widely.
“I am so thrilled to have assembled such a talented cast with both new and exciting British Asian talent working alongside such established actors that I grew up admiring.”
There is an all-star cast headed up by Sacha Dhawan who will play the Sathnam character in the drama.
He has appeared in ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Iron Fist’ and some acv readers will no doubt remember his starring role in ‘Not Safe For WorkNot Safe for Work’ a slightly underrated Channel 4 comedy drama, which saw Dhawan, play ‘Danny’, a dissolute waster who was nevertheless in charge of an outsourced government department.
Bollywood star Anupam Kher will play his father, while Deepti Naval reprises the role of Sathnam’s mother.
Kiran Sonia Sarwar, best known for her role in the multi-award winning BBC drama, ‘Murdered by my father’, and Sam Otto feature as younger characters. Joanna Vanderham will play ‘Laura’, the older Sathnam’s girlfriend.
Jaz Deol, Vineeta Rishi, Kriss Dosanjh and Manpreet Bambra also have roles.
‘The Boy with the Top Knot’ will be directed by Lynsey Miller and has been adapted for TV by Mick Ford.
Diederick Santer, executive producer for Kudos, said: “Sathnam’s candid memoir is hilarious and heart-rending in equal measure. Mick’s emotional adaptation paints an authentic portrait of an everyday family, capturing how they work, love and fight like any other, and how they learn how to live with mental illness.
“With our brilliant cast and crew in place, I believe we’re all set to deliver something truly fresh and uproariously life-affirming for BBC audiences to enjoy.”
Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, added: “This powerful BBC Two drama tells Sathnam Sanghera’s personal story about growing up as a second-generation Indian in the West Midlands and explores first-hand his experience of mental illness within a family.
“I’m so grateful to Sathnam for allowing us to tell his story. With Mick Ford’s beautifully touching script and the cast and production team that have come together to make this drama, it promises to be an unmissable film.”
The drama will be filmed in and around the Midlands. There is, as yet, no date as to when the drama will screen.
For more details on the book, ‘The Boy with Top Knot’, click on the picture
Nation of Shopkeepers find novel voice