Shuggie Bain: BBC to turn Booker Prize winning novel by Douglas Stuart into new TV series

Douglas Stuart is adapting his best-selling Booker Prize-winning novel Shuggie Bain into a television series, the BBC has announced.

Shuggie Bain, Stuart’s debut novel, is set in 1980s Glasgow and is about a young boy growing up amid addiction and poverty.

The story, which won the Booker Prize in 2020, was inspired by Stuart’s own childhood in Thatcher-years Glasgow. The novel is described as a powerful portrayal of a working-class family.

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The book has gone on to win numerous awards over the years and was one of the most critically acclaimed novels of 2020 and became an international bestseller, sold in 39 countries.

Author Douglas Stuart. Picture: Martyn PickersgillAuthor Douglas Stuart. Picture: Martyn Pickersgill
Author Douglas Stuart. Picture: Martyn Pickersgill

It is being adapted for BBC One and iPlayer, produced and distributed internationally by A24.

Stuart said: “I am deeply grateful to the BBC and A24 for their belief in Shuggie Bain. I’m thrilled to bring the Bain family to the screen and the opportunity to expand on my novel and to bring new threads to the story, exploring hardships and struggles as well as the compassion, humour, and resilience that is so central to the Scottish spirit.”

Gaynor Holmes, BBC Drama Commissioning Editor, said: “Shuggie Bain is an extraordinary novel, with all the makings of extraordinary television. It’s a real honour to be working with the immensely talented Douglas Stuart to bring his vision to the BBC.”

Filming for the television series is set to take place in Scotland, with more details to be announced in due course.

Stuart has previously credited his success to two school teachers who encouraged him to read books for the first time after his mother died from alcoholism when he was just 16.

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