BBC Daytime has commissioned double BAFTA winning Kindle Entertainment to produce a five part adapation of the much loved Dickens classic The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. Production is due to start in Northern Ireland in June with funding from Northern Ireland Screen Fund supported by Invest NI and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It is due to air on BBC One in Autumn 2012.
The Life and Adventures of Nick Nickleby has been updated to reflect concerns and questions about modern Britain, so Dickens’ exploration of corruption within private boarding schools is transposed to care-homes for the elderly. Just as Dickens did, the drama invites the audience to reflect on how the vulnerable suffer when the pursuit of profit is valued more than human kindness.
Written by Joy Wilkinson (Land Girls, Doctors) Kindle Entertainment’s 21st century Nick Nickleby is a hot-headed but caring, young man. After his father’s death and the family farm is repossessed, Nick travels to London with his batty old mum and gorgeous, younger sister, Kat, to seek help from rich Uncle Ralph, the owner of a chain of high profile care homes. Nick is packed off to work in one of the care homes in the North, where he befriends and rescues Mrs Smike, a mouthy but somewhat confused old lady who is appallingly mistreated by Wackford Squeers, the care home supervisor. And so begins Nick’s journey, in which he fights corruption, rescues his sister from the lascivious intentions of his uncle’s dubious business partner, falls in love with the self-possessed, single mum Madhi and is finally able to claim back the family farm.
Liam Keelan, Controller BBC Daytime: ‘Nick Nickleby is a very clever reworking of the Dickens classic. Whilst retaining the wit of the original story, it has a contemporary feel, which l’m sure will prove extremely popular with our viewers.’
Melanie Stokes, Executive Producer for Kindle Entertainment: ‘We are thrilled to be making this contemporary twist on Dickens’ classic tale to mark his bicentennial for the daytime audience. With its satirical swipe at Britain’s woeful track record in the care of the elderly, Joy Wilkinson has found an urgent theme – every bit as pressingly important as Dickens’ original.’
Production is due to start in Northern Ireland in June and will air on BBC One Autumn 2012. The Life and Adventures of Nick Nickleby is a Kindle Entertainment production, with funding from Northern Ireland Screen. Worldwide sales and distribution is being handled by Indigo Films.