Think back to 2018 and there was a time where you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing Dolly Alderton’s bestselling memoir, Everything I Know About Love. It cropped up on public transport and holiday reading lists; WhatsApp group chats were ablaze with its mention.
A comforting and hugely relatable meditation on surviving your 20s, in it, The High Low podcast host and former sex columnist recounted personal stories as well as lessons and advice on love in all its wonderful forms – from transformative friendships to shocking dating anecdotes (we’ve all been there).
Back in May, excitement reached fever pitch at the news that the book was being adapted into a romantic comedy series for the BBC, with Alderton joking: "And before every boy I dated a decade ago messages me today to breezily ask how I am, it’s semi-fictionalised, so don’t panic fellas.”
Now, BBC One has announced the cast for the seven-part television series – and it does not disappoint. The plot will centre on two childhood best friends, Maggie and Birdy, who navigate bad dates, heartbreak and London house shares while facing the trials and tribulations of their unbreakable bond. Set in 2012, we will be privy to flashbacks to suburban adolescence in the early '00s – so expect to see nods to big fashion hits (and misses) from the era.
Birdy will be played by Bel Powley, known for her breakout role as teen Minnie in Diary of a Teenage Girl, as well as other parts in The Morning Show and The King of Staten Island. Emma Appleton – you might recognise her as Princess Renfri in The Witcher or from her other roles in The Last Letter from Your Lover and BBC Three’s Clique – will star as Maggie (the character based on Alderton herself).
The official synopsis reads: "Maggie and Birdy, besties since school, finally land in London to live it large, when the unexpected happens – dependable Birdy gets a steady boyfriend. A generous, funny, warm-hearted and uplifting Sex & The City for millennials which covers bad dates and squalid flat-shares, heartaches and humiliations, and, most importantly, unbreakable female friendships."
While the book only serves as inspiration for the fictionalised series, there are already notable parallels in the way the plot mirrors Alderton’s life in the book – with her IRL best friend Farley also getting a long-term boyfriend while the two were living together in their 20s.
Also joining the cast is Scottish actress Marli Siu (Our Ladies, Alex Rider) playing Nell, Jordan Peters (Blue Story, Gangs of London) playing Neil – plus a roster of fresh British talent making their TV debuts: Aliyah Odoffin playing Amara, Connor Finch playing Street, and Ryan Bown in his breakout role as Nathan.
Filming for Everything I Know About Love will begin imminently in Manchester and London, and the series will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in 2022.