Film company snaps up rights to book

AN AUTHOR from East Anglia is set to see his work on screen after a film company – which helped produce the smash hit Bridget Jones's Diary – bought the rights to his first children's novel.

By Annie Davidson

AN AUTHOR from East Anglia is set to see his work on screen after a film company - which helped produce the smash hit Bridget Jones's Diary - bought the rights to his first children's novel.

Keith Brooke saw his book Piggies, published in January last year and then reprinted three times within weeks of its publication due to its popularity.

His second children's book Flesh and Blood hit the shelves yesterday.


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But now the movie rights to Piggies has been bought by film production company Little Bird which was behind television drama including The Hanging Gale, starring the McGann brothers and Dirty Tricks with Martin Clunes.

It has also produced a number of films including Croupier starring Clive Owen and box office hit Bridget Jones's Diary, in association with Working Title.

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Projects currently underway include Trauma, starring Colin Firth, and Churchill - The Hollywood Years, with Christian Slater.

Father-of-four Mr Brooke, of Sydney Street, Brightlingsea, said yesterday: "I am thrilled. It has gone really well, the company itself has a really good record of getting films made.

"It is not uncommon for film deals to be struck and then things get in the way and the film never gets made.

"But this is looking good for filming to begin later this year."

With such famous names as Hugh Grant and Renee Zellweger in past Little Bird films, Mr Brooke, 37, said he would be interested to see who would play his characters.

He said: "I have absolutely no idea who will play them.

"It is a children's book so the main protagonists are teenagers. It is highly likely that the actors will be relative unknowns.

"To be honest I didn't have anybody in mind when I was writing it so I will be fascinated to find out who they come out with."

Mr Brooke said it was inevitable the film would have some changes but he was "realistic" about the alterations and said it was necessary for the story to work on screen.

Piggies is about a boy called Ben who is transported into a parallel world where being a vampire is the norm.

Mr Brooke is committed to a four-book deal with Puffin which will take him up to January 2006.

He works at Essex University running its website and fits in writing at weekends and in the evening.

Mr Brooke uses the pen name Nick Gifford for his children's books but writes adult fiction under his own name.

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