Viv Albertine's memoirs to be adapted for TV

·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Suki Dhanda/The Observer</span>
Photograph: Suki Dhanda/The Observer

Viv Albertine, the guitarist with the Slits who was at the core of the British punk movement, is to have her life story adapted for a television series.

A deal has been struck with producers Stephen Woolley, Elizabeth Karlsen and Rachael Horovitz for the rights to develop Albertine’s candid hit memoirs – Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys (2014) and To Throw Away Unopened (2018).

Albertine said she was “so happy,” adding that the producers “were sensitive to the extremely personal nature of the work and I knew the books were in the hands of producers with integrity.”

The trio heralded “an exciting and exhilarating prospect to re-explore a time when music, fashion, political ideologies and sexuality were turned on their heads … The story of a working-class girl fighting for a place and voice in a restrictive world, Viv’s story is a kaleidoscope of painful truth and witty honesty.”

Woolley is known for producing book-to-screen adaptations including Carol, On Chesil Beach, Great Expectations, The End of the Affair and Interview With the Vampire; he was Oscar-nominated for The Crying Game. Karlsen, his wife, has worked with him as well as helming her own projects such as Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth.

Horovitz, meanwhile, produced the Aaron Sorkin-penned adaptation of Michael Lewis’s book Moneyball, and the TV series Patrick Melrose, adapted from Edward St Aubyn’s novels and starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

In her first book, Albertine charts her course from being an untrained musician to becoming part of one of the key bands in British punk – where her friends included members of the Clash and the Sex Pistols – and onwards through motherhood, divorce and surviving cervical cancer.

In her second, she focuses on her family, including her fraught relationship with her sister in the wake of her mother’s death. “I set out to write a thriller about an unpleasant, middle-aged woman who constantly fantasised about murder. It turned out that woman was me,” she wrote in the Guardian in 2018.

After the Slits broke up in 1982, she worked in TV as a director. She began performing music again in 2009, and took a lead acting role in Exhibition, the acclaimed 2013 film by Joanna Hogg.

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