Little Dorrit will be the next Dickens classic adapted and broadcast in a soap-style format for BBC1, following on from the huge success of the award-winning Bleak House.
Andrew Davies, who was behind the Bafta-winning production starring Gillian Anderson and Charles Dance, told The Stage that he and drama controller Jane Tranter had agreed the story of Amy Dorrit, a young woman born and raised with her family in a debtors prison, would be ideal to serialise for television.
He said: “We have decided to do Little Dorrit and do it in the same way we did Bleak House. I think it will run for a bit longer – there will be more episodes.”
The new show is expected to be on screen next year and like Bleak House, which cost £8 million, will be broadcast twice-weekly, immediately after EastEnders.
The soap opera approach with cliffhanger endings has proved popular with viewers and critics and is in keeping with the style in which Dickens intended his work to be read. Little Dorrit was published in monthly installments between 1855-7. Sales of the story exceeded all of his earlier work.