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David Nicholls One Day

Everything David Nicholls, author of One Day, has said about the TV show adaptation

He said Leo Woodall and Ambika Mod are ‘wonderful together’


David Nicholls is responsible for breaking an entire generation of teenager’s hearts back in the 2000s. And now, the author of Netflix’s new adaptation One Day is breaking them all over again as Dex and Emma are brought back to life.

Speaking about how he feels about the new adaptation, David Nicholls said he only feels affection towards the book, the show and the characters. He said: “I started writing One Day when I was 39. Coming back to it now, as I approach 60, is bittersweet in all kinds of new and interesting ways, but I’ve never felt anything but affection for it.” David Nicholls worked on the TV show as an executive producer and has spoken a lot about the show since its release.

So from sharing mixtapes to his opinion on the actors, this is everything One Day author David Nicholls has said about the show:

He explained where he thinks Dex is now

Replying to a comment on his Instagram, David Nicholls shared what he thinks Dex is up to now and how he’s doing after all these years and let me tell you, this is music to my ears. He said: “I think about this a lot and the good news is – I think he’s fine, a good father, steady and successful, sometimes a flirt and a fool, but definitely happy.” We can all die happy now.

He said the show included a lot more sex scenes than the book

We owe a lot to the producers and Netflix writers for this one. David said that there are a lot more sex scenes in the show than he initially wrote in the book. “There is a lot more sex in this than there is in the novel,” he told Entertainment Weekly ahead of the show’s release. “I tend to fade to black and Nicole [Taylor, One Day’s head writer] doesn’t fade to black.”

David Nicholls One Day

David Nicholls One Day

So whilst the book/show is not technically based on a true story, the One Day author has shared how he has taken inspiration from his own life to inform events and characters in the story. He said: “I’d had my fair share of false starts and blind alleys. Emma’s terrible Tex-Mex restaurant was my Fulham bistro chain, her avocado bathroom came from my bedsit in Battersea.”

Talking about the inspiration for Dex’s character, he added: “A lot of my male friends had quite a wild, hedonistic time in London in the ’90s, and that’s gone into Dexter’s character.”

“When I was an actor, I worked with lots of men who had a bit of success early on, who were very good-looking, who suddenly made a bit of money and who felt no embarrassment – and nor should they have done – about having a good time. I think there are probably bits of them in Dexter.”

He explained why they didn’t change the heartbreaking ending

Explaining why they stayed faithful to the ending from the book which fully destroyed everyone, David said: “You need to do something shocking, or else it’s just a ‘will-they-or-won’t-they’ story of best friends who could be something more, and that’s the oldest story there is.”

David Nicholls One Day

When asked if he faced any pressure to change the ending, he added: “No one ever suggested changing the ending. I don’t think you could do it any other way.”

He described it as a ‘really brilliant piece of adaptation’

David Nicholls said: “Adapting your own book is like cutting your own hair. You can never really see the whole thing and you’re not as radical as you need to be. You do need a brilliant, objective, intelligent outside eye sometimes to show you the things that aren’t going to work if you were to just transcribe the book.”

He said he’s very happy with the adaptation overall: “There are characters who have great, long, funny scenes which aren’t in the book. For me, the best scene in the whole series, in the final episode, which just destroys me every time, isn’t in the book.

“There are lots of scenes that I’d love to go back to sneak in and pretend they’re mine. It’s a really brilliant piece of adaptation and I’m so proud of the show.”

He shared Emma’s mixtape and it’s so accurate

There’s no denying that One Day has a very vibey soundtrack. But as well as spoiling us with this, David Nicholls also shared the mixtapes he thinks Dex and Em would have shared with each other throughout their lives. Sharing the playlists on X, he said: “Thank you for all the lovely messages over the weekend. I’m going to change the subject soon, but one last #OneDay thing; here’s my own imaginary mixtape, the kind of thing Emma would have sent Dex (though it’s too long ). A sort of musical mood board.”

“And here’s the same thing, but going the other way,” he added, sharing a second link to Dexter’s curated music library. “Needless to say, the Dex version is a little…louder but there are some overlaps.” Catch literally all of these songs taking over this year’s Spotify Wrapped.

He said Ambika and Leo are ‘wonderful together’

In an interview with Esquire, David said that Ambika and Leo, who play Em and Dex are “wonderful together”. He said: “We loved the idea of finding fresh faces and letting the audience discover Emma and Dexter, discover the performers along with the characters. Ambika and Leo were so good individually, and really wonderful together. It was a very straightforward decision.”

David Nicholls One Day

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, he added: We saw hundreds of people. We saw a huge number of really wonderful actors. It wasn’t as if we were kind of looking and not finding anyone. We found some real talent. But I’d seen Ambika in This Is Going to Hurt, which I thought she was extraordinary in, and she had a certain Emma quality, a kind of watchfulness and wisdom that I thought was very Emma.

“Leo, I’d never seen in anything at all. And yet when we started pairing up the actors to see how they worked together, it was just magical. They were just so good together, so playful and funny, and with such a rapport. And so we all felt at that moment, this is Em and Dex.”

David Nicholls wrote *that* devastating episode himself

Speaking to The Scotsman, David said he wrote episode 13, the one that changed everyone’s lives for the WORSE. “I’ve written episode 13, which is almost entirely new scenarios and dialogue,” he said.

“I had to go back and remember what Emma and Dexter sounded like to create new scenes for characters I hadn’t really thought about since 2008. By that stage, we knew who was going to be playing them, so it was about writing something that was a fusion of the novel with these new voices and faces.”

One Day is available to watch on Netflix now – For more like everything David Nicholls has said about One Day and all the latest Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

One Day author David Nicholls explained where he thinks Dex is now and it’s so cute

One Day: All the differences from the book that I honestly wish I’d never found out

• Just 14 vibey One Day behind the scenes pics that will make you love the cast even more