“You can live your whole life not realizing that what you're looking for is right in front of you.”
David Alan Nicholls (born 30 November 1966) is an English novelist and screenwriter.
Nicholls is the middle of three siblings. He attended Barton Peveril sixth-form college at Eastleigh, Hampshire, from 1983 to 1985 (taking A-levels in Drama and Theatre Studies along with English, Physics and Biology), and playing a
wide range of roles in college drama
productions. Colin Firth was at the same College and they later collaborated in And When Did You Last See Your Father?. He went to Bristol University in the 1980s (graduating with a BA in Drama and English in 1988) before training as an actor at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York.
Throughout his 20s, he worked as a professional actor using the stage name David Holdaway. He played small roles at various theatres, including the West Yorkshire Playhouse and, for a three-year period, at the Royal National Theatre. He struggled as an actor and has said “I’d committed myself to a profession for which I lacked not just talent and charisma, but the most basic of skills. Moving, standing still – things like that.” Nicholls says that a turning point in his career came when a friend gave him a copy of PJ Kavanagh’s memoir The Perfect Stranger, which tells the author’s own tale of maturation, finding love, and discovering his path in life.
As a screenwriter, he co-wrote the adapted screenplay of Simpatico and contributed four scripts to the third series of Cold Feet (both 2000). For the latter, he was nominated for a British Academy Television Craft Award for Best New Writer (Fiction). He created the Granada Television pilot and miniseries I Saw You (2000, 2002) and the Tiger Aspect six-part series Rescue Me (2002). Rescue Me lasted for only one series before being cancelled. Nicholls had written four episodes for the second series before being told of the cancellation. His anger over this led to him taking a break from screenwriting to concentrate on writing Starter for Ten. When he returned to screenwriting, he adapted Much Ado About Nothing into a one-hour segment of the BBC’s 2005 ShakespeaRe-Told season. He wrote a screen adaptation of his novel, One Day, which was made into a film starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess.
In 2006, his film adaptation Starter for 10 was released in cinemas. The following year, he wrote And When Did You Last See Your Father?, an adaptation of the memoir by Blake Morrison. His adaptation of Tess of the D’Urbervilles for the BBC aired in 2008, and he has written an adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd for BBC Films. He has also adapted Great Expectations; the screenplay has been listed on the 2009 Brit List, an annual industry poll of the best unmade scripts outside the United States. He wrote The 7.39, which was broadcast on BBC One in January 2014.