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Alexandra Potter on Confessions of a Forty-something F*** Up

Alex back home in Yorkshire. Alex Potter
Alex back home in Yorkshire. Alex Potter

Yorkshire-born bestselling author Alexandra Potter was on holiday when she took a call from LA telling her one of her books was going to be made into a US television series.

It was a dream come true for Alexandra, who has written romantic comedy fiction novels for more than 20 years.

Her titles have achieved worldwide success, with Confessions of a Forty-something F*** Up now a major television series.

Produced by 20th Television, a part of Disney Television Studios, Not Dead Yet - ABC’s most-watched multi-platform comedy debut in nearly four years - follows Nell Serrano (played by Golden Globe-winning actress Gina Rodriguez) a broke and newly single self-described disaster, working to restart the life and career she left behind five years ago.

When she lands the only job she can find – writing obituaries – Nell starts getting life advice from an unlikely source.

Speaking to Yorkshire Life, Alexandra says, ‘My first book came out in 2000. I’ve had a lot of novels out and I’ve had a lot optioned for film, but nothing ever happened.

Great British Life: Alex's early life was in Bradford but work has taken her to LA. (c) Alex Potter Alex's early life was in Bradford but work has taken her to LA. (c) Alex Potter

‘You sell it as if they’re going to make it into something, but then it rarely happens because they just meet so many obstacles and so it’s always the dream, but you carry on with your job, you carry on writing novels.

‘Then this one, I sold it to a production company in LA and they actually got it made. It was kind of unbelievable.

'It’s a dream come true. I got the news they’d written the pilot, then I got the news that they’d filmed the pilot.'

She was on holiday in Portugal with her husband when she found out the series would be going ahead.

Alexandra said: ‘I saw my phone ring and it was my agent in LA and she was calling me. I answered and she said ‘Alex…it’s happening, it’s going to be made into a series'.

‘It’s one thing writing novels and getting them published, which is fantastic, but actually getting a television show. It was an American television show for network tv – so it was a really big deal - just something that everybody dreams of happening.’

After moving to Liverpool for university, then to London, Alexandra worked on glossy magazines before becoming an author.

Fast forward to 2022 and Alexandra found herself on set in LA, watching her characters being brought to life in the same place where huge Hollywood films have been made over the years.

‘It was amazing, I was sitting there watching characters that I’d created, actors playing them on set, it was a dream come true,’ she said.

It's set to be another busy year for Alexandra.

Her book One Good Thing – set in the Yorkshire Dales where her mum now lives – recently came out in paperback and More Confessions of a Forty-something F*** Up will be released this month, while the first Confessions book will be released in America in September.

Alexandra has another book in the pipeline for summer 2024 and Not Dead Yet has been renewed for a second season.

‘A lot of people have liked it because they say it’s funny and it’s uplifting, it’s light and it’s also got some deep stuff in there, so there’s some drama, there’s some poignancy,’ she said.

It has been a huge journey for the Bradford girl. A former pupil of Thornton high school, Alexandra grew up in Great Horton and Clayton.

‘I went to a regular comprehensive, I’m from a working-class background. There were no opportunities presented to me. When you said to people at school ‘I like books, I like reading, I’m good at English’ they’d say things like ‘well, you could be a librarian’.

‘I never thought that someone like me could write a book and get it published, because I just didn’t see people like me, it was always people that had a private education, they knew people, they lived down south.

‘I always say that if you work hard and you’re determined, you can have these things happen.’

Not Dead Yet can be watched in the UK on Disney +. More Confessions of a Forty-something F*** Up is out this month.

Great British Life: Her new book More Confessions of a Forty Something F**k Up is out this month Her new book More Confessions of a Forty Something F**k Up is out this month



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