Smash-hit novel Shuggie Bain to be adapted for the BBC by author Douglas Stuart

The series will be produced by A24.

Douglas Stuart, author of the 2020 Booker Prize-winning novel Shuggie Bain, is adapting his novel for BBC One and iPlayer in his first television series, produced by A24.

Set during the 1980s, Shuggie Bain is the unforgettable story of a mother-son relationship in working class Glasgow. Shuggie’s mother Agnes dreams of a house with its own front door, ordering a little happiness on credit. She finds increasing solace in drink, and drains away the lion’s share of each week’s benefits – all the family has to live on. To Shuggie, an effeminate boy who struggles to fit in, Agnes is his guiding light. He cares for her as she battles with alcoholism while he struggles to become the normal boy he desperately longs to be.

A heart-breaking story of pride, sexuality, addiction, and love, Shuggie Bain is inspired by Douglas Stuart’s own childhood in Thatcher-years Glasgow and is a powerful portrayal of a working-class family with a very important story to tell. 

I am deeply grateful to the BBC and A24 for their belief in Shuggie Bain. I’m thrilled to bring the Bain family to the screen and have the opportunity to expand on my novel and to bring new threads to the story, exploring hardships and struggles as well as the compassion, humour, and resilience that is so central to the Scottish spirit.
Douglas Stuart
Shuggie Bain is an extraordinary novel, with all the makings of extraordinary television. It’s a real honour to be working with the immensely talented Douglas Stuart to bring his vision to the BBC.
Gaynor Holmes, executive producer for the BBC

Shuggie Bain is Douglas Stuart’s first novel and alongside being awarded the 2020 Booker Prize, it was one of the most critically acclaimed novels of 2020 and became an international bestseller.

Shuggie Bain is written by Douglas Stuart and will be executive produced by A24 and Gaynor Holmes for the BBC. The series is being produced and distributed internationally by A24.

Filming will take place in Scotland and further details will be announced in due course.

Shuggie Bain

by Douglas Stuart

Book cover for Shuggie Bain

This is the deeply moving story of a woman ravaged by addiction, disappointed with a life that has never lived up to her expectations, and her son, exhausted by an adolescence spent trying to be ‘normal’ like other boys, and desperate to help her. The 2020 Booker Prize winner is a story of love, pride and poverty that is both deeply rooted in its 1980s Glasgow setting and certain to resonate across future generations.