British author Candice Carty-Williams said Succession creator Jesse Armstrong helped her make a TV series based on her 2019 debut novel Queenie.
The eight-episode series, which will air on Channel 4 and Disney+, stars Dionne Brown as Queenie, Samuel Adewunmi as Frank, and Bellah – real name Isobel Akpobire – as Kyazike, marking the rising R&B singer’s acting debut.
Appearing at the Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press tour in Los Angeles, creator and executive producer Carty-Williams, 34, said making Queenie for the screen was a “very long process”, taking eight years in total.
“Weirdly, the person who helped me navigate this was Jesse Armstrong, because he is my agent’s friend and he gave me some advice.
“He sat me down and said ‘make sure you write what you want to write’ and I was like ‘you’re Jesse Armstrong so you can say that’.
“But I took on of that what I could, but he’s been an incredible mentor.”
British writer-turned-producer Armstrong, who created hit TV series Succession, starring Brian Cox, recently won an Emmy award for best writing for a drama series, while his show took home a total of six gongs.
The writer said they filmed the majority of the series around Brixton in south London.
“It was really fun, but also really dangerous,” she said.
“Someone threw a bottle at us, that’s Brixton, you have to handle it. It was quite intense at times. I guess occupational hazard. I felt it was important to stay true to places in the book.”
Carty-Williams also said the book nods to hit book and film series Bridget Jones’s Diary by British author Helen Fielding.
“And I got older and watched the films, I thought they were amazing, really fun. I think deep down I always wanted to make something like that.”
Queenie will be on Channel 4 in the UK and Disney+ later this year.