BBC to adapt Jo Bloom’s novel ‘Ridley Road’ into four-part thriller
Books, Screen

Ridley Road was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (Orion) in 2015 and tells the story of the rise of fascism in 1960s London. It is being made into a new suspenseful drama, written and adapted for television by award-winning writer Sarah Solemani (Barry, Aphrodite Fry). The 4×60-minute drama will be produced by RED Production Company (a STUDIOCANAL company) and BAFTA-award-winning executive producer Nicola Shindler (Years and YearsHappy ValleyTrust Me).

An original thriller inspired by true events, Ridley Road tells the story of one brave young woman’s fight against the rise of fascism on the cusp of the Swinging Sixties. Vivien Epstein arrives in London hoping to make a new life for herself with a man she had a brief, but intense, love affair with. But when the only address she has for him leads to a dead end, Vivien pursues her independence. Finding a job in a Soho hair salon, she is soon swept up in the intoxicating world of the Sixties – including the fashion, the music, the sexual revolution. But there is also another revolution happening – the fight against resurgent fascism; taking place on her own doorstep in and around Ridley Road. When a chance meeting finally reunites Vivien with lover Jack, her joy is short-lived after he disappears during an undercover operation. Taking matters into her own hands, Vivien joins the resistance movement and turns her hand to political activism to discover what happened to him. Ridley Road will take viewers on a nail-biting journey set against a little-known aspect of British history; the rise and fight against fascism in post-war Britain, in which two real organisations, the National Socialist Movement and the 62 Group fiercely fought. Ridley Road is a thriller and a love story, conjuring a picture of Soho’s early Sixties vibe coupled with the shocking politics and social unrest of the time.

Writer Sarah Solemani (Barry, The Secret, Urban Myths) won a Writers Guild America Award for her work on HBO’s Barry and is also known for her roles in the BAFTA award-wining series Him & Her, No Offence and Bridget Jones’ Baby. In the US she is currently writing an original comedy drama with Sarah Jessica Parker’s company Pretty Matches Productions.