Louise O’Neill’s novel Asking For It set for small screen

The acclaimed second novel by novelist Louise O’Neill is heading for the small screen after confirmation yesterday that a production company has secured the television rights to Asking For It.

Louise O’Neill’s novel Asking For It set for small screen

Ms O’Neill, a native of Clonakilty, Co Cork, and an Irish Examiner columnist, confirmed the news and said she will co-write the script of any future TV adaptation.

The novel, which takes a searing look at rape culture and victim blaming in the social media age, has already won a number of awards including Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2015.

Bandit Television has acquired the rights. The company, formed last year, is Endemol Shine UK’s scripted production label. Its managing director, Philippa Giles, previously worked on BBC shows such as Luther and Silent Witness.

Ms O’Neill said another Irishwoman, Bandit’s head of development Muirinn Lane Kelly, would be “holding my hand” in co-writing the scripts, with initial plans for a three-part drama.

“I think the book lends itself to that,” she said, adding that it was “exciting” to work on the project.

She also said she wanted the story to remain set in an Irish context, even though the subject matter of the novel was “a global issue”.

“This story could have happened in any small country,” she said.

When Asking For It was being published in the US, she said she fought for specifically Irish terms to remain unchanged.

It is not known when the finished series will air, but those behind the project are keen to have it in production as quickly as possible, with Ms Giles claiming Bandit were privileged to be working with Ms O’Neill and committed to using her story to continue the “necessary debate” on its subject matter.

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