Why Sarah Waters? Because she looks so smug; because she has a PhD in English Literature and chooses to write, as she says herself, ‘faux-Victorian melodrama’. Ha! It’s soft porn. The word ‘bawdy’ is often used to describe her novels; I shudder when I see that word: it represents everything I detest – in literature and elsewhere.
Why Andrew Davies? Because he’s an old lech, but he should know better than to adapt that kind of crappy stuff. Please don’t tell me he’s a wonderful adaptor; I know he is. His recent adaptation of Bleak House was a gem, and so was almost everything he previously adapted for the small screen. But together with Sarah Waters he managed to produce the most preposterous and repellent thing I’ve ever seen on television – Tipping the Velvet. (As a bonus, it also featured one of the least talented offspring-of a-famous-person ever: Rachael Stirling, Diana Rigg’s daughter. That programme really had tout pour plaire, as we say in French.)
They say everything is being dumbed down. No kidding! Sarah Waters and her faux-Victorian melodramas have been short-listed for the Booker Prize (the most important literary prize in the UK). What next? A Mills & Boon/Harlequin ‘novel’?
PS. Don't you think they look like each other too? The same pixie face. Creepy.