SCREEN SIREN: Simon Doonan's own life story — immortalized in his memoir "Nasty: My Family and Other Glamorous Varmints" — has had more than a few fashion folks in stitches over the years. Now, the effervescent creative director of Barneys New York will get a chance to share it with many more. Jon Plowman, who produced cult television hits like "Absolutely Fabulous," "Little Britain" and "The Office," is turning "Nasty" into a comedy series called "Beautiful People." Acclaimed playwright Jonathan Harvey is supplying the script for the show, which is scheduled to air on BBC2 in the U.K. this fall.
"I am totally delirious and delighted, and bewitched, buggered and bewildered," Doonan said on Wednesday. "It's one of the most surprising, hilarious things to ever happen to me. It's the real cherry on the cake."
The book focuses on his childhood in dreary Reading to his pull towards the glamorous fashion world. It is filled with anecdotes, from the years he spent dressed up as a pirate to his being arrested in Los Angeles wearing Vivienne Westwood plaid bondage pants. "It's a low rent 'Madame Bovary,'" Doonan said.
Casting is taking place now, and Doonan plans to leave the choice of lead characters to Plowman. Those close to him need not fret of being lampooned on the small screen, however. "The main character is called Simon, but the others have been morphed and evolved and extrapolated to protect the innocent," Doonan said. "It's not a poetic, literal dramatic rendering of my life. They took my book and used it as a springboard, with the trajectory of coming from a crap town and ending up in the glamour and fabulousness of fashion." Could this become the "Are You Being Served?" of the 21st century? — Marc Karimzadeh