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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 October 2005, 10:50 GMT 11:50 UK
BBC plans major new Austen drama
Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle in BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice
Davies wrote the script for the BBC's adaptation of Pride and Prejudice
TV writer Andrew Davies, who adapted Pride and Prejudice for the BBC 10 years ago, is to turn another Jane Austen classic into a major drama.

Davies has started adapting Sense and Sensibility for the small screen and it is due for broadcast in two years.

"When they are great stories, you keep on coming back to them and doing them in different ways with different people at different lengths," he said.

Emma Thompson won an Oscar for her film of Sense and Sensibility in 1995.

Emma Thompson in Sense and Sensibility
Emma Thompson won an Oscar for a film of Sense and Sensibility
She wrote the script for the film, in which she starred with Kate Winslet.

Speaking at the launch of BBC One's new adaptation Bleak House, Davies said his adaptation of Sense and Sensibility was in its early stages and no actors had been cast.

He rejected the idea that Austen had been overexposed in the last decade after Pride and Prejudice sparked a craze for Austen dramas.

"You can cut Jane Austen so many ways and I think people still want to return to them," he said. "Who wants to see all these action movies all the time?

"There is a different audience out there apart from 12- to 14-year-old boys and I think a lot of the stories that people like to see now were written in the 19th Century or before.

Andrew Davies
There are loads of kids who can get into great classics
Andrew Davies
"You can mine them again and again. Well, at least I hope that's true, otherwise I'm in trouble."

A BBC spokeswoman confirmed Sense and Sensibility was "in the early stages of development" and would be Davies' next project for BBC One.

The writer's new adaptation of Dickens' Bleak House will be screened on BBC One after EastEnders from the end of October.

It will be shown in 30-minute episodes after an hour-long opener and Davies hopes to win over young EastEnders fans.

"I have a 10-year-old grandson who has read all the Harry Potter books and he goes to drama classes and there are loads of kids who can get into great classics," he said.

"If you can introduce kids to them in an easy way, I would be thrilled."

The cast of Bleak House includes Gillian Anderson, Charles Dance, Alistair McGowan and Pauline Collins.


SEE ALSO:
Ritchie fails to dislodge Austen
27 Sep 05 |  Entertainment
Austen tops romantic novel poll
11 Feb 05 |  Entertainment
Jane Austen's enduring appeal
08 Oct 04 |  Entertainment
Bleak House to become BBC 'soap'
19 Dec 03 |  Entertainment
Women listeners back Austen novel
08 Dec 04 |  Entertainment


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