The Prime Writers Summer Blockbusters – Woman of the Hour by Jane Lythell

Summer is the season of Hollywood Blockbusters and it is in this frivolous spirit that The Prime Writers give way to the dream and have a go at casting their novels as films. Throughout the month of August Prime Writers will be putting forth their ideas. It will be interesting to see whether readers agree with our choices in casting beloved characters.

Jane Lythell’s recently published novel Woman of the Hour is a book that would be brilliant as a film. Here the author gets to grip with casting her three main characters.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 22.58.18

My novel Woman of the Hour is set in a TV station in London that broadcasts a live morning show. The main character is Liz Lyon and she is a respected TV producer, a stressed out executive and a guilty single mother. She is also a strong woman who spends her life trying to manage the many monster egos in the TV station. When she gets home she has to cope with a stroppy teenage daughter. She is 41 and I described her thus:


Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 22.58.09My hair is black and I’ve worn it in a short bob, without a fringe, for years. A bob is nice and low maintenance and I pay Ellen in make-up a small fee to cut it for me every two months. I peered in the mirror and saw a few more grey hairs at the parting. I think Suranne Jones would be perfect as Liz as she has the right mix of strength and contained emotion. Liz is controlled at work and emotional at home and Suranne Jones would do this very well.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 22.58.03The star presenter at the TV station is Fizzy Wentworth and I described her here: Fizzy is a woman who sets great store by how people look. She is thirty-eight but she looks younger. She is pretty rather than beautiful, with her strawberry-blonde hair and pointed chin, more of a girl-next-door type who viewers can relate to, rather than drop-dead gorgeous.  I think Natalie Dormer would work brilliantly as Fizzy. She has the pointed chin and the face a camera loves. She is perhaps a little too beautiful but hey I can live with that.

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 22.57.36Liz’s boss is Julius Jones and he is power-crazed and can be a bully at times. Julius entered the room and there was a palpable change in the atmosphere. No one says anything until they’ve had an indication of which way he is going to jump. Sometimes you can tell what his mood is going to be simply by the way he sits down and spreads his arms on the table. Julius is handsome, though in a rather bland way. He looks clean-cut and preppy but he is unpredictable, a chameleon, and his face can change from pleasant to menacing in a moment. Even his name is a sham. He was born and raised Nigel Jones but changed his name to Julius Jones when he started working in television. My choice to play Julius Jones is Dominic West as he’s got the right amount of suppressed power under an outwardly attractive exterior.

Woman of the Hour was published by Head of Zeus as a hardback and e-book on 14 July 2016.


Jane Lythell

Jane Lythell


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