STV to adapt Fringe comic's story of how social-media obsessed alter ego took over her life
STV is to join forces with an Edinburgh Festival Fringe comic whose social-media obsessed alter ego became a sudden sensation online to turn her story into a new drama.
The broadcaster’s production has snapped up the rights to Bella Younger’s new book The Accidental Influencer, just months after it was published.
It charts the dramatic impact on her life after she created a parody wellness account – Deliciously Ella – on Instagram to mock social media influencers.
Within months she had 100,000 followers, a spoof cook book, a podcast and a sold-out Fringe show, but Younger was being accidentally sucked into the very life that she had set out to satirise.
And Deliciously Ella became so popular the impact of its success on her life, including the “relentless quest for more likes, began to take a toll on her own health, leading to burn-out and therapy for social media addiction.
The Accidental Influencer is one of two new books being developed into new series by STV Studios. It has also acquired the rights to First Comes Love, Tom Rasmussen’s queer-focused exploration of marriage and the people who choose to embrace it.
Younger said: “Anyone who's read my book or maybe even just met me will know that telling my story on the screen has been a life-long dream.
"I'm thrilled to be working with the wonderful team at STV Studios and grateful for the chance to put more words into influencers’ mouths.”
STV has announced the development of the new series weeks after filming wrapped in Glasgow on a new Channel 4 prison drama, Screw. I
t has also enjoyed success with the dramas The Victim, which starred Kelly Macdonald, James Harkness and John Hannah, and Elizabeth Is Missing, which Glenda Jackson won an BAFTA for.
Sarah Brown, creative director of drama at STV Studios, said: “We’re incredibly excited about these projects, which will see us expand into a new space with particular appeal for younger audiences, and which exemplify our clear commitment to new voices and diverse lived experienced stories.
"We’re thrilled to be working closely with Bella and Tom on the scripts. Both are huge talents and we feel privileged to be developing their hilarious, insightful and sometimes heart-breaking personal stories for television.”
Rasmussen said: “While addictive and often therapeutic, the ways we have been shown love and other ways of being together on screen are, for the most part, deeply unimaginative.
"It’s thrilling to start from a place of imagination with the team at STV — asking for more from our love stories and expecting more of their protagonists.
"This will not be a show about how to find a man, how to keep a relationship, how to get married. That’s dull.
"It will be a show about what it means to make decisions about how to live in a time when options are plentiful, and yet judgements abound. It will be a show that interrogates the friction between politics and emotion, all with unusual love and hope at its centre.”