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'The joy of Jane Austen'

26 August 2019

‘I think people don't often realise that a lot of the joy of Jane Austen is that these books are funny. People think that, to adapt her, you've got to use long words and fancy sentences, and that's not the case at all. She could be very succinct and to the point and had a great sense of humour...

Sanditon is ‘very uplifting, really... there's a lovely light feeling to Austen's writing in the fragment. I was particularly taken by her description of Charlotte watching the light dancing over the waves. I thought: yes, that's the feeling I want to capture...

I just write the show I'd like to see myself. But I do respond to the young colleagues I work with - they're so in touch with everything, and so stimulating. Trying to keep up with them, understand their jokes and make them laugh is a lot of what keeps me young and alive.'

Andrew Davies, acclaimed 82-year-old screenwriter of Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace and many other successful TV series, whose Sanditon has just started airing on the BBC, in the Observer.