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Studio Crook Options First Lilly Valentine Book for TV


Brighton-based Studio Crook has acquired the right to develop the first of Helen Black’s Lilly Valentine legal book series, Damaged Goods, into a six-part TV show.

Titled Valentine, the adaptation follows an almost-divorced single mother whose home is barely standing. While there is a lot she can’t keep up with, she excels at her job at a local law firm and will go to any length to help her clients, even at the expense of her son and nearly ex-husband.

Lilly Valentine is the third book title optioned by Studio Crook for TV. Having won investment from Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund earlier this year, the acquisition marks an expansion into the scripted market for the studio.

“Lilly Valentine was the first character I ever created, and readers couldn’t get enough of her courage and her flaws in equal measure,” Black said. “She’s a working-class scrapper, a lawyer who won’t give up on her clients, and I love seeing characters like Lilly on TV—seemingly ordinary yet magnificent women with so much on their plate yet still the funniest people you’ll meet. Having worked previously with Studio Crook’s head of scripted, Justine Potter, on my first commission, I know that Lilly is in good hands.”

Matt Crook, managing director of Studio Crook, added, “Lilly Valentine is a force of nature, and from the first page of Damaged Goods, we knew we had to bring her to the screen. It’s a pleasure to work with Helen Black on adapting her work. The series is just brilliantly entertaining, heartbreaking and universally relatable in equal measure, which is exactly the type of story we want to tell.”

About Jamie Stalcup

Jamie Stalcup is the associate editor of World Screen. She can be reached at


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