Nicholls started life in Bristol as a Drama and English student
in the 1980s.
on, after a stint as a BBC scripts editor, he created 'I Saw
You' a three-piece drama based in Bristol and inspired by
an ads column in Venue magazine.
also wrote for the hit TV show 'Cold Feet', for which he received
a BAFTA nomination.
"I tried to be an actor in my 20s, and even went to drama
school in New York for 18 months, he told BBC Radio Bristol.
I didn't have much success in that, I started writing scripts,
mainly for TV.
studied in Bristol
ideas in the book fitted the novel format better. It was nerve-wracking
writing a first novel, but I enjoyed it"
Magazine named Starter for Ten as "Book of the
Year", and it has been nominated for a WH Smith People's
Brian Jackson, a working class quiz show fanatic, arrives in
the city in 1985 with his Kate Bush albums, CND badge and a
dream of being on 'University Challenge' - one of Nicholls'
own (unfulfilled) ambitions.
for the team, he sets his sights on teammate, Alice - and
the quiz show trophy.
to win a free copy of the book? Then read on.
has amazing general knowledge - which I researched with an
encyclopedia and by watching the show, said Nicholls.
ask if he is me. He does and says some terrible things, so
I'd like to think I was never that bad.
novel is about the culture shock of a somewhat geeky, working
class kid at a university surrounded by posh people.
University has a reputation - rightly or wrongly - for being
an upper class, very prestigious institution and I thought
it was a good starting point for a comedy.
I hope the book has universal appeal."
is best known for his work on the third series of the hit
drama 'Cold Feet': "I had a fantastic time on this. The
characters were all in place and there was a great cast: you
could hear their voices in your head as you wrote."
has also worked on 'Simpatico', an adaptation of a Sam Shepherd
play starring Sharon Stone and Jeff Bridges.
he created 'I Saw You', written for Fay Ripley and set in
Bristol, which he describes as "... a beautiful, rich
and varied city, that has not been fully exploited."
Saw You is a Venue column where you can leave messages for
people you have seen, but for whom you don't have a telephone
number: a good start for a romantic comedy, which was well
directed and made Bristol look great."
his first impressions of the city will always be his university
days. Perhaps an inspiration for the novel?
that period of life you are so full of passion, integrity
and enthusiasm, but without the wisdom of an adult.
my best friends now are from that time. Everything is bigger,
more dramatic - including friendship and love - and the experience
stays with you.
I look back, it is with nostalgia and embarrassment."
enter the competition to win a free copy of Starter for
Ten, simply answer this question correctly.
did Nicholls study at university?
competition has now closed and the winner will be notified
by post. The correct answer is Drama and English.