House of Cards and Pride and Prejudice scriptwriter Andrew Davies shares stories with Sidmouth

Andrew Davies.

Andrew Davies. - Credit: © AP

A scriptwriter known for his work on House of Cards and Pride and Prejudice spoke about his life’s work to nearly 100 people in Sidmouth.

Andrew Davies was the latest guest speaker to appear as part of a Meet The… series held at Kennaway House.

Speaking to The Herald, Andrew said the last time he was in Sidmouth was exactly 80 years ago on his first holiday at nearly one years old.

The well-known scriptwriter was born in Cardiff and lived in Wales until he went to a London university to study English.

Andrew said: “I always wanted to be a writer but my father said writers didn’t actually make any money and that I needed a job that paid the bills.”

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He added he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a teacher He taught in a number of London schools before getting a job at a teacher training school in Coventry and eventually going on to work at the University of Warwick, while he also developed his writing career.

Andrew eventually started to make more money out of writing than teaching so became a full-time writer at the age of 50 and moved to Kenilworth.

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He said he was currently working on three projects included a straight TV drama about Les Miserables and adapting a novel called A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth.

He added but what he thought would be of the most interest to Sidmouth readers would be his work on an adaption of Jane Austen’s unfinished Sanditon, which she had only wrote about 100 pages of, before she died.

He added Jane Austin had many Devon influences and that this particular book was about the development of a seaside town in a coastal area.

“It sounds very much like the very early days of Sidmouth. At the beginning of the story there was an eager man determined to turn a little finishing village into a fashionable seaside resort to compare with places like Brighton.”

Andrew said he was rather excited about the project as there were many ways it could go so to watch this space.

When asked what advice he would give aspiring writers, Andrew said it was important to write everyday and not be discouraged.

“We all get rejected a lot at the beginning but keep sending things out. There are lots of publishers and far more outlets for TV writers these day. Just keep learning and improving.”

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