Girls just wanna have fun in new TV drama

A seven-part series adapted from Dolly Alderton's memoir begins this week
Girls just wanna have fun in new TV drama

From left, Marli Siu as Nell, Emma Appleton as Maggie, Bel Powley as Birdy and Aliyah Odoffin as Amara, in Everything I Know About Love on BBC1

WHEN Dolly Alderton released her memoir in 2018, readers were hooked.

Her debut title served up an unflinching account of (just about!) surviving her 20s. It won a National Book Award for autobiography and was shortlisted for the 2019 Non-Fiction Narrative Book of the Year in the British Book Awards, and struck a chord with audiences the world over.

So it’s little wonder news of Alderton’s self-penned TV adaptation also caused quite a stir.

The seven-part series, Everything I Know About Love, which starts on BBC1 on Tuesday, is billed as “a semi-fictionalised adaptation of the best-seller”.

“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,” says Alderton, 33.

Set in a 2012, with flashbacks to suburban adolescence in the early noughties, the drama dives into the bad dates, heartaches and humiliations that fans of the book know all about - yet asks if platonic love can survive romantic love as we grow up.

At the centre of the story are childhood best friends Maggie, played by The Witcher’s Emma Appleton (pictured on the TV Week cover), and Birdy, played by Bel Powley; plus university friends Marli Siu as Nell and Aliyah Odoffin as Amara.

“When we meet Maggie, she’s just finished her university gap year and moved to London,” says Appleton, 30. 

“(She’s embracing) adult life in a big city; she’s with her friends and just figuring out what that looks like and what direction she wants to go in.”

In contrast, “Birdy is quite anxious and nervy” according to Powley, also 30. “(She’s) Maggie’s childhood best friend. They’ve known each other since they were 11, so they’re embarking on this journey together, along with their other friends Nell and Amara. I’d actually read the book because my best friend gave me it - so my Maggie, which I thought was a beautiful thing,” she adds.

“I was obsessed with it. I read it and remember thinking, if this gets turned into a TV, I want to play Farley, who ended up being Birdy.”

Prized for its funny, honest musings on love, friendship and relationships, and growing up a millennial, the series will feature the raucous nights out, first dates, and awkward sexual encounters detailed by journalist-cum-podcaster-cum columnist Alderton.

But perhaps the most heart-warming scenes come with the dancing as the foursome learn a choreographed routine at home before being let loose on the dancefloor.

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