“Keeping Mum” The debut novel from James Gould-Bourn optioned by multi award-winning production company Lime Pictures for TV Drama

The triple Emmy award-winning production power house Lime Pictures has optioned James Gould-Bourn’s debut novel “Keeping Mum” for a live action series. 

The novel tells the story of Danny Malooley who's life is falling apart: he's a single parent with an eleven-year-old son, Will, who hasn't spoken since the death of his mother in a car crash fourteen months ago.  He's being pursued by a landlord who is threatening to set his henchman on him if he doesn't pay his arrears and, to make matters worse, he's lost his job on a building site.

After seeing street performers in his local park apparently raking it in, he spends his last fiver on a costume that's obviously been vomited on more than once and becomes a dancing panda... until something unexpected happens that makes the humiliation of his terrible rhythm all worth it.

When Danny spots his son being bullied in the park one day and goes to his rescue, Will talks to him for the first time since his mother's death, unaware that the panda is in fact his father.  Nervous of revealing his true identity in case Will stops talking to him, Danny befriends his son in the panda disguise.  But Danny can't keep up the ruse forever.  Can Danny dance his way out of debt and finally reconnect with his son?

Trapeze signed the “gorgeous” debut novel by James Gould-Bourn in a two-book deal.  Commissioning editor Katie Brown acquired UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights for Keeping Mum from Joanna Swainson at Hardman & Swainson.  North American rights were pre-empted by Kara Watson at Scribner, and the novel was sold at auction in Germany, Italy and China, and further pre-empted in several more territories.

The deal with Lime Pictures was brokered by Marc Simonsson at SoloSon Media.

Lime Pictures are best known for producing long running drama Hollyoaks which celebrates it’s 25th anniversary next year, and most recently the double Emmy award-winning Netflix Original series Free Rein.  Multi award-winning Executive Producer Louise Sutton (BAFTA, RTS and a 2018 Emmy for Black Mirror: USS Callister for Netflix) will be developing the series as part of her growing slate of scripted programmes as Head of Drama and YA for the business. 

Gould-Bourn, 36, was born and raised in Stockport, Manchester and is a former writer for Bored Panda.  He has also worked for several landmine clearance NGOs in Africa and the Middle East.

James Gould-Bourn said:

"I'm so thrilled that Lime Pictures will produce Keeping Mum for the TV.  I can't wait to see Danny, Will, and the rest of the cast on screen, and I know that Lime will do a brilliant job of bringing their story to life." 

Katie Brown, editor at Trapeze who acquired the novel adds:

“Keeping Mum, an outrageously funny and brave book, was a tonic to read, and I cannot wait to see the joy it will bring to viewers when it finally hits the screen.  James has a natural talent for balancing emotional warmth and dry wit, and I know it will translate beautifully.”

Louise Sutton, Head of Drama and YA for Lime Pictures comments:

“Keeping Mum is such a beautiful story and a very special novel.  James is a talented storyteller who has a gift for perfectly complimenting raw emotion with warmth and humour.  We are very excited to have secured this story and are looking forward to bringing the characters to life.”

Keeping Mum, James Gould-Bourn’s debut novel will be available from 11th June 2020 from Orion Publishing Co.