Mammoth Screen options Strangeways prison officer memoir

Mammoth Screen options Strangeways prison officer memoir

Mammoth Screen has optioned TV rights to Strangeways (Pan Macmillan) by Neil Samworth, “a jaw-dropping, page-turning account of life in one of the country's most notorious jails” from a former prison officer, for a multi-part, returnable television series.

Managing director Damien Timmer and head of business affairs Melanie Morris acquired rights from James Carroll at Diane Banks Associates with a "substantial" pre-empt ahead of publication on 14th June 2018.

The book was bought by editorial director Ingrid Connell at Pan Macmillan for imprint Sidgwick & Jackson from Martin Redfern at Diane Banks Associates.

Damien Timmer from Mammoth said: “Now more than ever feels like the right time to tell this story. Sam’s unique and often totally hilarious voice is essential to the brilliance of the book. It is his total honesty and resilience that makes the book very appealing. We think this makes him the perfect route into Strangeways for television audiences.”

Samworth, known as ‘Sam’, said: “I’m over the moon with Strangeways being optioned by Mammoth Screen for television. They have an incredible track record. I can’t wait to see the book on shelves in the summer – it doesn’t feel real quite yet.” 

Audio rights have also been sold to W F Howes. International book rights are being handled by Martin Redfern at Diane Banks Associates who found Strangeways on the agency’s slush pile of unsolicited manuscripts.

Strangeways is a "shocking and darkly funny" account of life in a high security prison. As staffing cuts saw Britain’s prison system descend into crisis, the stress of the job – the suicides, the inhumanity of the system and one assault too many – left Samworth suffering from PTSD. 

Mammoth Screen is the producer of "Poldark", 'Ordeal By Innocence" and "Victoria".