The former Children's Laureate spoke to RadioTimes.com about being hooked on watching people watch TV, Strictly and The X Factor, how her audience has changed, and the thrills of having her books adapted for TV
Jacqueline Wilson may have just published her 100th book but she still finds time to tune into the TV shows that her young readers love. The Tracy Beaker author told RadioTimes.com at the Cheltenham Literature Festival that she’s “addicted” to Gogglebox.
“It’s fun to see what all these sorts of people think of television programmes, and how they’re never taken in by things. I would imagine producers are really quite fascinated by the direct response you get from people.
“I do like watching the big shows. I watch Strictly, I watch The X Factor. I recently started watching those to be able to chat to children when I was signing books because that was the sort of thing they were watching. But I must admit, I got hooked.
“I’m very fond of Caroline Flack so it would be lovely if she won.”
On the popularity of the BBC adaptation of her breakthrough novel Tracy Beaker, Wilson said, “I think it works well on TV because Tracy is such an interesting character. I mean, many parents wince at the sound of her name but children like her because she’s so bold, so naughty and so full of fun. But they do also understand why she’s got behavioural problems and I’m just thrilled that it’s still being repeated endlessly on CBBC.”
So, how much say does Wilson get over the TV adaptations of her novels? “Not really very much now,” she said. “Years and years ago at the very beginning I did confer a bit about how it was going to be done and I am sent scripts, and I speak to the producers. But I am very happy to let other people sit back and develop it.”
The author, who said it takes her five or sixth months to write a book, added that she had no desire to stop.
“Family and friends are starting to find this a bit tedious and think it would be lovely if I slowed down and didn’t do anywhere near as much, but I’ve been writing so long. I shan’t stop writing and even when I’m writing the current book I have the idea for the new book in my head”.