BBC1 to adapt Malorie Blackman’s YA novel Noughts and Crosses

Award-winning young adult novel explores forbidden love and injustice

BBC One has commissioned a new adaptation of Malorie Blackman critically acclaimed young adult novel Noughts and Crosses.

Produced by Mammoth Screen and adapted by Levi David Addai and Matthew Graham, Noughts and Crosses is the first in a series of award-winning novels that focus on the enthralling story of first love in a dangerous, adrenalin-fuelled fictional dystopia.

Divided by their colour but united by forbidden love and burning injustice, Sephy and Callum are fighting for more than simply the right to be together, in a contemporary dystopian State where strict race laws make daily existence a matter of life and death.

Sephy is a ‘Cross’, a member of the black ruling class and daughter of a prominent politician. Callum is a ‘Nought’, a white member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood but that’s as far as it can go for Noughts and Crosses must never fall in love. Against a background of prejudice, distrust and powerful rebellion mounting on the streets, a passionate romance builds between Sephy and Callum which will lead them both into terrible danger.

Charlotte Moore, Director, BBC Content, says: “Noughts and Crosses is the definitive book for a young adult audience and the perfect fit for BBC One. Superb, high octane compulsive storytelling set within an alternative history that explores really relevant themes about race, privilege and how we treat each other.”

Malorie Blackman says: “I am beyond thrilled that Noughts and Crosses will be dramatised by the BBC – it couldn’t have found a better home. Callum and Sephy seem to have meant a lot to readers over the years and I’m excited at the prospect of watching them on my TV!”

Levi David Addai, who is adapting the book with Matthew Graham, commented: “I’m honoured to be trusted with bringing Malorie Blackman’s superb novel to a BBC One audience. It’s a powerful story drawing on themes of hope, love and identity, set in a brilliantly conceived world that makes us think again about our own.”