Adam Kay is set to adapt his bestselling account of being a junior doctor, This is Going to Hurt (Picador), into an eight-part BBC comedy drama billed as a “call to arms” for the NHS.
Set on labour ward with “all its hilarity and heart-lifting highs but also its gut-wrenching lows, the show delivers a brutally honest depiction of life as a junior doctor on the wards, and the toll the job can take back home”, according to a BBC spokesperson.
The 45-minute episodes based on Kay’s bestselling account of his time as a junior doctor will be created and executively produced by Kay himself of Terrible Productions, produced by Sister Pictures, co-producers of "Broadchurch" following a 12-way auction in September and commissioned by Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, and Two Patrick Holland, controller of BBC.
It will be executively produced by Naomi De Pear for Sister Pictures and Mona Qureshi for BBC Two. Further casting and production details are yet to be announced.
This is Going To Hurt is Kay's diary during the six years he spent as a junior doctor between 2004 and 2010. Kay used his experiences to inform his sell-out show which ran at the Edinburgh Festival and then at Soho Theatre and is an award-winning writer for TV and film, too, with credits including "Mongrels", "Mrs Browns Boys", "Mitchell and Webb" and "Very British Problems".
“It’s been a huge privilege to have my diaries reach so many readers and it’s been absolutely humbling to see their reaction,” Kay said. “I’m beyond delighted to now be able to share my story with a far wider audience and make the viewers of BBC Two laugh, cry and vomit.”
Wenger said: “The anarchic, laugh out loud tone of Adam’s memoir masks a frank, insightful and often visceral portrait of a committed young professional struggling to do the job of his dreams. It is a deeply personal but definitive account of the 21st Century NHS and we are thrilled that Adam and the team at Hootenanny and Sister have chosen BBC Two as the place to bring it to screen.”
Holland described Kay as “an extraordinary talent with a unique story to tell”.
“His memoir This is Going to Hurt leaps off the page with its candour, coruscating wit, intelligence and timeliness,” Holland said. “This new series promises scintillating writing about a subject that is at the centre of national life.”
De Pear said: “Hospitals are remarkable places where human beings are seen in all of their glory - where people are their bravest, kindest and sometimes silliest. And the world is envious of our hospitals for a reason, because they represent a system built on the humane belief that people deserve to be treated equally whatever their financial situation, especially in their hour of need.”
She added: “We want this show to be a call to arms.”
This is Going to Hurt is currently Sunday Times number one bestseller, a position it has held for over two months, according to a BBC spokesperson. Since publication in September, it has been translated into 20 languages and won numerous awards including the BAMB Reader's Choice Award in November.
Other Sister Pictures projects include an adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s prize-winning novel The Power (Viking). It is an independent production company based in London founded in November 2015 by Jane Featherstone.