Skins creator to adapt Young Adult novel Kiss Me First for E4 and Netflix

The new drama promises to “explore the loneliness and isolation experienced by young people and the disparity between appearance and reality in the social media age”

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The Young Adult novel Kiss Me First is coming to E4 and Netflix.

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Skins creator Bryan Elsley has scripted the six-part series which is based on Lottie Moggach’s book about Leila, a lonely 17 year old girl who is addicted to a fictional internet gaming site called Agora.

In the online world Leila meets cool and confident Tess, a party girl who harbours a dark secret. They subsequently meet in the real world but after Tess disappears Leila decides to assume her friend’s identity and becomes quickly drawn into unravelling the mystery behind her disappearance.

The as-yet-uncast series will combine live action with computer-generated virtual world sequences to create the parallel worlds of Leila and Tess’ real life and that of their online alter-egos ‘Shadowfax’ and ‘Mania’.

The drama promises to “explore the loneliness and isolation experienced by young people and the disparity between appearance and reality in the social media age” according to the creative team.

“We hope to thrill and mystify our audience on a headlong ride through emotions, intrigue and virtual reality,” said Elsley.

Piers Wenger, C4’s head of drama, said; “This is a thrilling and truly ground-breaking series which takes an emotional look at the lives of a group of young gamers and the truth which exists behind their online life. We are thrilled to be welcoming Bryan Elsley back to E4 to lead a group of new writers and to helm this exciting new show.”

Larry Tanz, Vice President Global Television at Netflix, added: “Netflix is committed to bringing the work of bold and innovative voices like Bryan’s to our subscribers around the world. Kiss Me First is a show with global themes and resonance, and we are proud to launch the show simultaneously across the entire world, exclusively on Netflix immediately after its broadcast in the UK.”

Kiss Me First will air on Netflix’s 130 international channels outside the UK immediately after it has been broadcast on E4 next year.

It is the first time that C4 and Netflix have negotiated this kind a deal ahead of a commission, and Kiss Me First is the first ever E4 series to be co-produced.

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The broadcaster has also given the green light to Loaded, a new comedy-drama series written by Jon Brown (Fresh Meat, Peep Show, Misfits) that follows four life-long friends who become multi-millionaires overnight.  

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