Media release: STV Studios explores new ground, with two book options


STV Studios has secured the television rights for two new books: writer and comedian, Bella Younger’s debut, The Accidental Influencer: How My Need to Get Likes Nearly Ruined My Life; and Diary of a Drag Queen author, Tom Rasmussen’s latest book, First Comes Love.

Both adaptations will see the Scotland-based production company explore younger-skewing material through lived experience stories.

Bella Younger is best known as her hilarious alter ego, Deliciously Stella, a parody wellness Instagram account which became an overnight viral phenomenon.

But, as Younger’s star began to rise, the pressures of being a social sensation began to take a disastrous toll on her mental health. Funny, bold and brutally honest, The Accidental Influencer tells Younger’s tale – from the seed of the idea and the adrenaline rush of a lavish publicity-packed existence to the relentless quest for more followers and ultimate burn-out, culminating in a stint in rehab for social media addiction.

First Comes Love is a joyful and uplifting examination of the ubiquitous institution of marriage by Tom Rasmussen, which finds itself straddling two camps: that of its Northern, working-class family, for whom marriage is the centrepiece of life, and as a non-binary queer in a relationship with a man.

Through journeys to wildly-different weddings, Rasmussen fearlessly illuminates the funny, confusing and complicated way we live and love today, speaking to us all, regardless of age,
gender, class or sexuality – and along the way asking if they should reject this most heteronormative of rituals.

Younger and Rasmussen will adapt their respective books for the screen, working closely with STV Studios Drama.

The Accidental Influencer and First Comes Love will be developed by STV’s head of Drama Development, Claire Armspach and STV’s creative director of Drama, Sarah Brown, with Sarah as executive producer.

Sarah Brown, creative director of Drama for STV Studios, said: “We’re incredibly excited about these projects, which will see us expand into a new space with particular appeal for younger audiences, and which exemplify our clear commitment to new voices and diverse lived-experienced stories.

“We’re thrilled to be working closely with Bella and Tom on the scripts – both are huge talents, and we feel privileged to be developing their hilarious, insightful and sometimes heart-breaking personal stories for television.”

Bella Younger says: “Anyone who’s read my book or maybe even just met me, will know that telling my story on the screen has been a lifelong dream. I’m thrilled to be working with the wonderful team at STV Studios and grateful for the chance to put more words into influencers mouths.”

Tom Rasmussen says: “While addictive and often therapeutic, the ways we have been shown love and other ways of being together on screen are, for the most part, deeply unimaginative.

“It’s thrilling to start from a place of imagination with the team at STV – asking for more from our love stories, and expecting more of their protagonists.

“This will not be a show about how to find a man, how to keep a relationship, how to get married. That’s dull. It will be a show about what it means to make decisions about how to live in a time when options are plentiful, and yet judgements abound. It will be a show that interrogates the friction between politics and emotion, all with unusual love and hope at its centre.”

Recent STV Studios drama productions include the award winning and critically-acclaimed productions; Elizabeth is Missing, for which Glenda Jackson won a BAFTA and International Emmy and BAFTA-nominated The Victim, starring Kelly MacDonald.

The team is currently in production in Glasgow with Screw, a prison drama for Channel 4, starring Nina Sosanya (His Dark Materials, W1A) and Jamie-Lee O’Donnell (Derry Girls).

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