Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends Being Adapted for the BBC


Sally Rooney’s critically acclaimed novel Conversations with Friends is being adapted for BBC Three, continuing the BBC’s relationship with Rooney and award-winning producers Element Pictures.

Conversations with Friends, which marked Rooney’s debut novel, is set in Dublin and centers on two college students, Frances and Bobbi, and the strange, unexpected connection they forge with a married couple, Melissa and Nick. This follows on the BBC’s prior adaptation of Rooney’s award-winning 2018 novel Normal People, which will premiere in the U.K. this spring on BBC Three and BBC One.

Following her work on Normal People, Alice Birch will be returning to write a number of episodes of Conversations with Friends, with further writers to be announced. The lead director on the new adaptation will be Oscar-nominated Irish film director Lenny Abrahamson, who also directed Normal People.

Rooney said: “I am so pleased to be working with the team at Element, Lenny Abrahamson and the BBC to produce an adaptation of Conversations with Friends. I’m confident we’re going to find fresh and interesting ways of dramatizing the novel’s dynamics, and I’m excited to watch the process take shape‎.”

Abrahamson added: “I love Conversations with Friends, its depth, humor and freshness, and it’s an honor to be involved in bringing it to the screen. I’m particularly happy that my connection to Sally and her work is set to continue. Making Normal People has been a singular pleasure and I’m excited to be working with the same brilliant team again on Conversations with Friends.”

Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, said: “We are all addicted to Sally Rooney’s writing and will plunder her literary canon as long as she is writing. And so, on the back of the taut and tangled Normal People, we are delighted that Sally has entrusted us, and the wonderfully talented people at Element Pictures, with her debut novel Conversations with Friends. To top it all Lenny Abrahamson has agreed to continue his association with Sally to direct.”

Ed Guiney of Element Pictures added: “The team at Element has nurtured a burning ambition to bring Conversations with Friends to the screen ever since we first read it. We could not be more excited to be working once again with Sally, Lenny, Alice and our friends at the BBC on the adaptation of this utterly exceptional and enthralling novel.”